Former President Obama reportedly accepted $400,000 to speak at a conference for a Wall Street bank.
The speech is set to take place later in 2017 at a healthcare conference sponsored by Wall Street investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald. Obama’s fee for the speech, the New York Times reported, is a major increase from the fees paid to other former Presidents. Bill Clinton accepted $200,000 per speech, while George W. Bush gets anywhere from $100,000 to $175,000 per speech.
The move is a surprising one for Obama, who was a frequent critic of big banks and who pushed for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations.
“I believe this is the defining challenge of our time: making sure our economy works for every working American,” he said in a 2013 speech.
News of the speech came after it was reported that Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama each signed multi million-dollar book deals after they left the White House.
Many readers criticized Obama for taking such large speaking fees considering his outspoken criticism of Wall Street.
“It certainly amazes the mind of any sane person on this earth, that any one organization would pay that much to any other human being on this earth. He is a greedy sob. A man who always called out Wall Street greed,” one Mad World News reader commented on the site’s Facebook page.
“How he shaped Young Americans all right look what he did the past eight years creating nothing but division and chaos and racism. And continue doing the same thing only get paid big bucks for it people really idiots to pay to listen to this man spew nothing but hate. Why is he trying to stay in the public eye we don’t want him any longer it was a glorious day the day he was kicked out of the White House hopefully we can kick him out of the United States,” another added.
Other readers called for people to move on from criticizing Obama, pointing to the fact that most former Presidents take speaking fees.
“So Obama is going on speaking engagements …this is the story that I clicked on..Like no other president has never gone these speaking engagements or written memoirs..WTH..are peoples problems..sounds like 2 different groups..one side Trump ..the other side Obama..and good ole game of “my dogs bigger than yours” . If ever I heard of..This is so old news,” one reader commented.
Sources: New York Times, Mad World News/Facebook / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons