Meet the Press   |  August 25, 2013

John Lewis looks at Obama's accomplishments

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., discusses the policies and accomplishments of President Barack Obama.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> do you see some of the same trappings of resentment and fear in our modern-day politics? is that what you're warning of when you see some of those forces coming back?

>> well, i think there is some forces want to create this sense of fear. they think the country is moving too fast or maybe becoming too progressive. the country is not the same country. people coming together. and in a short time, the minority will be the majority.

>> is there backlash that comes with that in your judgment?

>> well, i think, as americans, we must be prepared to make the adjustment and not be afraid. be courageous. be embracive. embrace a change.

>> as you look at dr. king's message 50 years ago and we remember that it was a march on washington for jobs and freedom , one aspect of dr. king's dream has not been realized and that is economic equality . he spoke on this 50 years ago. he said you've got to have social equality before you can have economic equality . there is more social equality for ausms. look at the statistics. back in 1963 , the rate of employment among african-americans twice that of whites. that was 1963 . page ahead to today, it's still twice that of whites. that's got to trouble you.

>> it is very troublesome. we have a lot of work to do. the dream is not yet fulfilled.

>> do you blame anyone in particular? because through republican leadership and democratic leadership, you still see the state of affairs.

>> well, this president, barack obama , has been trying to get the congress to move in a dramatic way to create jobs, to put people back to work, but it's all of our responsibility, not just those in elected positions but it's the business community , education institutions. we all must play a role in putting people back to work.

>> final question. the president will speak in the very spot that dr. king spoke 50 years to the day. one of his critics, tavis smiley , african-american who's criticized the president consistently. he talked about his hope that the president would be king-like but not king-like. he doesn't want time this to just echo the words but wants him to have a specific set of proposals. what do you expect from the president?

>> well, the president is the president. he's not a civil rights leader. there's a difference. president johnson , president kenne kennedy sat with us from time to time. when i met with president kennedy and later president johnson , part of the so-called big six, they would say make me do it. make me say yes when i may have a desire to say no. create the climate. create year-to-date the environment. it is never up to the civil rights community to get out there and push and pull .

>> you are a live testament to the idea that you've got to make some noise in this society and you've done that. i really appreciate your time here this morning.

>> thank you very much.