- (Reuters/Jason Reed)
President Obama has campaigned on the premise that Wall Street is “bad” for mainstream America. In June, he angered many financial industry executives by calling them “fat cats” and criticized their bonuses. However, that does not stop the President from accepting campaign donations from those same corporations to which he refers to as “corrupt” and “greedy.”
Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that aims to keep the government transparent, has revealed that President Obama has received more money from Wall Street than any other politician over the past 20 years. He received approximately $3, 700,000 more than the second largest Wall Street recipient, George W. Bush.
This revelation comes at a time when President Obama needs to appear anti-Wall Street in order to cash-in on the recent frustrations that are exciting his base. About a month into the Occupy Wall Street protests happening in various cities throughout the country, the Democratic Party seeks to capitalize on the financial frustrations of the young protestors in order to turn the wave of activity into votes for 2012. The protestors condemn what they see as corruption on Wall Street and unfair inequalities throughout America.
Therefore, Obama must distance himself from Wall Street.
That’s why on Friday President Obama praised the Occupy Wall Street movement and denounced the “irresponsible” folks on Wall Street:
“We had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country … and yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place,” said Obama.
However, many protestors and Americans alike, question Obama’s economic policies. Obama, who once ran on the idea that he was a Washington outsider, is now seen as part of the problem.
“With the people [Obama] put in (the administration), Goldman Sachs basically occupies the White House,” one of the protesters, Bill Brunot, 60, a mechanical engineer from Winchester, Va. told The New York Times.
“We got sold out; the banks got bailed out.”
According to Reuters, Wall Street accounted for 20 percent of Obama’s campaign funds. This amounted to nearly $15.8 million by the end of the campaign from executives and corporations such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, UBS AG, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley.
“It’s almost as if President Obama won’t cross across a Wall Street picket line except to get inside with [his] hand out, so he can raise money,” former White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer told The Daily Caller, calling Obama’s actions hypocritical.
“Clearly this is one of the many hypocrisies with this president that he seems to get away with - demonizing Wall Street while he's more than happy to use their money to campaign,” Republican National Committee spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski told The Christian Post.
“The president wants his cake and eat it too. It’s the height of hypocrisy for President Obama to demonize Wall Street on the stump while looking the other way as they line his campaign coffers.”
The White House and Democratic National Committee could not be reached for comment.