Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) defended former President Barack Obama’s six-figure Wall Street pay day by insisting where one gets money as a private citizen is none of anyone else’s business.
Schultz made her remarks to CNN host Erin Burnett, who was asking the former Democratic National Committee chair about Obama’s decision to accept a $400,000 speaking fee to appear at a Wall Street firm’s private event. Schultz repeatedly insisted that “the compensation that a private citizen takes for a speech that they give” is not “my concern nor any of our business.”
“[Hillary Clinton], as we all are aware, was slammed during the campaign for taking millions of dollars from Wall Street for paid speeches,” Burnett said. “People saw it as hypocritical, people saw it as unfair for someone who said they were going to stand up to the banks. Now President Obama, though, is being criticized by some of your fellow Democrats for his decision to take $400,000 for a single speech to Wall Street.”
Burnett played clips from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), both of whom said they were disappointed in Obama’s choice to take the speaking fee.
“Are they right?” Burnett asked.
Schultz initially deflected.
“I mean, of all people to question their commitment to getting money out of politics, to make sure we restore integrity to the political finance process, you know—”
Burnett cut her off.
“But he’s talking specifically about banks, right?” the CNN host asked, referring to Sanders.
“Look,” Schultz said. “It is none of anyone’s business what someone who is a member of the private sector decides to accept in terms of compensation. With all due respect to anyone who chooses to comment publicly on what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or anyone earns as a member of the private sector, it’s just NYOB, it’s none of your business.”
She went on to call Clinton and Obama’s public records “pristine.”