Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, hit back at critics of former President Obama’s plans to make high-priced speeches. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party has been criticizing Obama’s decision to speak at Wall Street forums for huge sums of money. Debbie Schultz made the remarks to Erin Burnett on CNN Tuesday.
“Let me ask you,” Burnett said, “Hillary Clinton as you know spoke today she as we all are aware was slammed during the campaign for taking millions of dollars from Wall Street for paid speeches. Right, people saw it as hypocritical, people saw it as unfair for someone who said they were going to stand up to the banks.”
“Now President Obama though, is being criticized by some of your fellow democrats for his decision to take $400,000 for a single speech to Wall Street,” she asked and showed videos of Democrats criticizing Obama. “Are they right?”
“I mean of all people to question whether or not,” Schultz answered, “question their commitment to getting money out of politics, to really making sure we restored the integrity to the political finance process. President Obama could not have done more.”
“But he’s talking about specifically about banks, right?” Burnett interjected.
“Look it is none of anyone’s business what someone who is a member of the private sector decides to accept as compensation,” Shultz added. “With all due respect to anyone who chooses to comment publicly on what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or anyone earns as a member of the private sector, it’s just like NYOB, it’s none of your business.”
“So even though the banks are bigger than they were, none of that matters to you at this point,” Burnett asked. “No bank CEOs went to jail…”
“No, look, those things are all offensive, no no no,” Schultz replied, “I agree, I think that there was a lot more that needed to happen to not only crack down on the big banks, but for there to be consequences for their actions. But as far as the compensation that a private citizen takes for a speech that they give, um, that’s not my concern nor any of our business.”
“I look more at the public record of someone like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” she concluded, “and their public record is pristine. They both fought back against the big banks and their practices and I have every confidence in the service they provided.”