In an appearance on Fox News Monday PBS host Tavis Smiley tried to be more delicate in his criticisms of President Obama’s economic policies, despite host Sean Hannity’s best efforts to get him to slam the president. Smiley and Princeton professor Cornel West have recently received both criticism and praise for publically claiming that Obama has done little to benefit African-Americans.
Smiley said that he’s the last person that the administration would turn to for talking points or advice, but suggested that implementing policies that have helped drive up the federal budget isn’t a “winning campaign strategy.” He also said that the president’s health care reform legislation didn’t go far enough and that Obama made a bad deal to raise the debt ceiling.
“Again, I’m in an awkward position because I’m not the guy to give Obama talking points. I have problems personally and politically with this deficit reduction package,” Smiley said. “When you put together a deal that doesn’t raise a single cent of revenue, no taxes on the rich or the lucky, doesn’t close a single corporate loophole, doesn’t extend unemployment benefits…I oppose that deficit reduction package.”
Smiley added that the $447 billion American Jobs Act that Obama sent to Congress this week for consideration “ought to be bigger” and said he’s not the only one who thinks it should include more spending.
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