Record Mogul Simmons: 'It's Time To Bail Out The Poor'

By Nicholas Ballasy | May 9, 2011 | 4:27 PM EDT

( – On the red carpet of the White House Correspondents’ dinner, Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons said that many of the people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 "needed a miracle and he promoted that miracle." asked Simmons if President Obama has met his expectations at this point in his Presidency.

"I think he’s gotten a lot done on different subjects – women getting paid, I mean financed, that was a simple one but an important one. What he did with gays in the military. He’s done some poverty things, initiatives; he bailed us out and got the money back. I didn’t agree with the bailout but it worked so the NASDAQ was at 8,000 now it’s at 12,000. We were losing 800,000 jobs, now we’re gaining jobs among – there’s a lot of turn around," he told at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

"You know, we kind of forget. Half of the people who voted for Obama, a third of them who probably voted for Obama were so scared of where we were and needed a miracle and he promoted that miracle so that's great. I heard him speak about the battleground being the budget and I like what we had to say and that’s very important so I think he’s done a pretty good job so far."

Simmons, who actively campaigned for Obama in the 2008 election, said he was against Obama’s decision to bailout General Motors (GM).

"I meant like the companies, like I didn’t know GM hired everybody back as people have claimed but I just, the idea I thought was not a good idea. I’d rather have bailed out the poor. So now it’s time to bailout the poor," he said.

"There’s a father somewhere in Detroit who’s a policemen, mother’s a teacher, his wife’s a teacher, their kid, a boy, maybe goes to a school, 48 percent of the boys, African American boys in that school graduate, they roll over, they wake up in the morning, the classroom is double the size it was. We’ve got to bail them out. You know so we have to talk about the working class, if you don’t like the word poor but we’re – poverty is trickling up so that’s the next bailout and I think he’s [Obama] up for the task and that’s important