Bachmann: Obama ‘Has Failed the African American Community’ and Hispanic Community

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 20, 2011 | 2:12 PM EDT

Rep. Michele Bachmann addresses the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on June 17, 2011. (AP photo/Patrick Semansky)

( - Pointing to double-digit unemployment rates among African Americans and Hispanics, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.) said on Friday that President Barack Obama “has failed” both these communities.

“This president has failed the Hispanic community. He has failed the African-American community,” said Bachmann. “He has failed us all when it comes to jobs.”

Bachmann, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination for 2012, made the remarks at the “Republican Leadership Conference” held in New Orleans over the weekend. Other Republican presidential contenders—including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Herman Cain—also spoke at the event, as did Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is reportedly considering a run for president.

Bachmann’s speech focused in part on what she described as Obama’s failure to promote economic growth and job creation—resulting in an overall national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent in May, a full 28 months into Obama’s term.

“Mr. President, the status quo is not working for Americans,” said Bachmann. “The status quo certainly isn't working for the African-American community, with 16 percent unemployment, or the Hispanic community, with nearly 12 percent unemployment. It's even worse for the youth: For Hispanic youth right now, 26 percent unemployment; for African-American youth, 40 percent unemployment.

“This president has failed the Hispanic community,” said Bachmann. “He has failed the African-American community. He has failed us all when it comes to jobs.

“As president of the United States, my goal will be job creation in the Hispanic community, job creation in the African-American community, job creation for all Americans, and turning this economy around,” said Bachmann. “And we will.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bachmann’s statement on unemployment in the African American and Hispanic communities is accurate.

Overall seasonally-adjusted unemployment was 12.7 percent in the African American community when President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, according to the BLS. By May 2011, the latest month reported, it had risen to 16.2 percent.

In the Hispanic community, the overall unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in January 2009, when President Obama was inaugurated. By May 2011, it had risen to 11.9 percent.

Among African Americans 16 to 19 years old, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 36.3 percent in January 2009 and had risen to 40.7 percent by May 2011. Among Hispanics 16 to 19 years old, the unemployment rate was 24.3 percent in January 2009 and had risen to 26.1 percent by May 2011.

According Bureau of Labor Statistics, a part of the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployed are those who have been actively seeking a job during the past four weeks, and are currently available for work, but have not been able to secure a job.