Tavis Smiley and Cornel West recently appeared on Morning Joe to discuss their poverty tour, what they would like to see change in Washington, and Smiley’s previous comments about not receiving a White House invitation.

The poverty tour is an 18 city tour which aims to highlight the plight of the poor in our tough economic times. With the U.S poverty rate at it’s worst in 15 years, and the signing of the new debt ceiling bill, Smiley and West feel that the suffering of the poor will only continue to get worse. “It’s an issue nobody wants to talk about” said Joe. Smiley agreed and added that the poor in America are being “rendered more and more invisible,” and that the new cuts will create a “hole in the floor” that a lot of people will “fall through.”

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One noteworthy observation Smiley made was that the poor seem to only get attention when they threaten the economic or physical security of the elite, which can be argued is happening in London right now. His hope is that the poverty tour will give the poor the media attention they do not usually receive.

When asked why they were unhappy with President Obama, Smiley and West responded that they felt Obama did not put up enough of a fight for the poor and disenfranchised. Smiley specifically felt that Obama was being too much of a pushover when it came to the agenda of the democratic party.