President Barack Obama launched a broad onslaught against banks on Thursday, tapping into public anger over rising fees to garner populist support ahead of his 2012 re-election campaign.
Obama, a Democrat who is pressing his case for re-election with unemployment stuck above 9 percent, said his Republican opponents’ primary plan to boost the economy involved rolling back financial reforms his administration fought to pass.
Obama spoke at a White House news conference after thousands of anti-Wall Street demonstrators protested at New York’s financial district and in several U.S. cities this week against economic inequality and the power of U.S. financial institutions.
“I think people are frustrated and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based suspicion about how our financial system works,” Obama told reporters.
Obama said his so-called “Dodd-Frank” financial reform bill was designed to prevent Wall Street abuses, and his emphasis on the subject indicated he would use that theme heavily in the 2012 presidential race.
Read the whole thing here. Which of course makes the current OccupyWallStreet protests very, um, convenient. Of course, the new fees people are angry about arose because of Obama’s Dodd-Frank bill.