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The president acknowledges that with an unemployment rate of nearly 17% for black Americans, people are frustrated. Obama says, “So many people are still hurting. So many people are barely hanging on.” And he says, “so many people in this city are fighting us every step of the way.”

Obama asked black lawmakers to support his jobs bill. And he told them, “I need your help.”

“Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

In pitching his proposal, Obama said his package of payroll tax cuts, business tax breaks and infrastructure spending would benefit 100,000 black-owned businesses and 20 million African-American workers.

Obama will need black turnout to match its historic 2008 levels if he’s to have a shot at winning a second term.

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