November 16, 2012 (Washington, DC)—Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network and host of PoliticsNation on MSNBC, met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden today, along with eleven other leaders of organizations. After the meeting Rev. Sharpton said:
"The meeting was very candid and productive and we were able to share our concerns about the impact that the fiscal cliff negotiations could have on our constituents. Importantly, we heard the direct response of the President and Vice President about their commitment towards doing what is right for the American people. I expressed that position that National Action Network and I feel that African-Americans and Latinos will face disproportionate negative impacts if there is any change in spending when it relates to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and across-the-board program cuts.
Since we are also disproportionately the longest-term uninsured in this country, the cancellation of unemployment insurance would be devastating in our community. The need to maintain tax cuts for the middle-class and working poor while making the wealthy pay their fair share is as appropriate as it is prudent."
"If negotiations cannot stop the spending cuts across-the-board, African-Americans, Latinos and poor people are the ones who will go over a cliff. The wealthy will only have a downward slide on an exalted slope. The difference between the fiscal cliff and the exalted slope arises from how one is defined by class, income, and race in this country. We intend to rally through radio, television, our chapters around the country, thousands of churches starting this Sunday, and in any other public conduit we have, to communicate to Congress the need to make an agreement that protects our community and serves the Nation. This is why people stood in line for hours all over America to vote for a change, and we are confident that President Obama will stand with them. The Congress must join with them across party lines."