Obama Is Taking Heat For A Reportedly Hefty Wall Street Speaking Fee

The former president will reportedly get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak at a Wall Street conference later this year.
SMS
Obama Is Taking Heat For A Reportedly Hefty Wall Street Speaking Fee

Former U.S. President Barack Obama will reportedly rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak at a Wall Street conference later this year.

And some people aren't too happy about it.

Fox Business was the first to report the speaking engagement, which will take place at a health care conference run by trading and investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

Sources told the outlet Obama will get $400,000 for his time.

Critics were quick to note that, if the report is true, Obama would be getting that big paycheck from the same people he criticized in the past.

"I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers on Wall Street," Obama said.

And in his first public appearance after leaving office, he spoke to students at the University of Chicago about pursuing more than just fame and money.

"When you're more concerned with 'I want to be a congressman' or 'I want to be a senator' or 'I want to be rich,' then some people may succeed in chasing that goal, but when they get there, they don't know what to do with it," Obama said.

Obama's senior adviser Eric Schultz didn't confirm how much the former president will make from his upcoming speech.

But Schultz did defend the former president's decision to speak at the conference.

He said, in part, "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."

But it's not unusual for ex-presidents to make some serious cash off speaking engagements. After leaving office, both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have made millions from their speeches over the years.

Schultz also said Obama will continue to give the occasional speech in the future.