President Obama dismissed concerns from the corporate world about White House overregulation, blithely telling an Economist interviewer that CEOs and their ilk always complain — that doing so “was their job,” he said.
“I would take the complaints of the corporate community with a grain of salt,” he said, arguing that his business policies rate hardly unfair or unfriendly to the corporate world, Reuters reported, citing the just-posted interview with the Economist. “They always complain about regulation. That’s their job.”
His words hearkened back to his first-term days, when he famously told another member of the media that he “did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers on Wall Street.”
The White House has since toned down what many in the free-market field claimed was anti-business rhetoric and tried to present a more pro-business, and free-market friendly image. But his recent statements that outright dismiss any corporate complaints of White House-inspired regulation are likely to reignite the negative image Mr. Obama has sought to shed among the business community.
He also said, Reuters reported: “If you look at what’s happened over the last four or five years, the folks who don’t have a right to complain are the folks at the top. … Oftentimes, you’ll hear some hedge-fund manager say, ‘Oh, he’s just trying to stir class resentment.’ No. Feel free to keep your house in the Hamptons and your corporate jet, etcetera. I’m not concerned about how you’re living. I am concerned about making sure that we have a system in which the ordinary person who is working hard and is being responsible can get ahead.”