Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), the popular left-wing firebrand, made comments on a radio show regarding how “troubled” she was by reports that former President Barack Obama was to receive $400,000 for a speech at a Wall Street conference. She was speaking on SiriusXM’s “Alter Family Politics” radio show on Thursday.
“I was troubled by that,” Warren admitted. “One of the things I talk about in the book (“This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class”) is the influence of money. I describe it as a snake that slithers through Washington and that it shows up in so many different ways here in Washington.”
Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Warren are considered to be the leaders of the far-left, progressive wing of the Democratic party, and are quite popular for criticizing the more establishment wing for leaning towards Wall Street. In the Democratic primary, Sanders often condemned Hillary Clinton’s own history of receiving large sums of money in return for the speeches she gave to Wall Street bankers.
In a statement to CNN, Senior adviser to Obama, Eric Schultz, defended his actions.
“As we announced months ago, President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time,” it read. “Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record.”
“With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors,” he added, “I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history — and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since FDR.”
President Obama has also penned a $60 million with Penguin Random House for a two-book deal.