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A member of the audience who said he was a hedge fund manager and a Harvard Law School classmate of Mr. Obama said many on Wall Street feel as if he’s treating them like a pinata. “We certainly feel like we’ve been whacked by a stick.”

“If you’re making a billion dollars a year after a very bad financial crisis where 8 million people lost their jobs and small businesses can’t get loans, then I think that you shouldn’t be feeling put upon,” Mr. Obama said.

“Most folks on Main Street feel like they’ve been beat upon,” he said, and “there’s a big chunk of the country that feels I have been too soft on Wall Street. What I’ve tried to do is just be practical.”

He said his policies have not been “extremist” or “anti-business.”