That was President Barack Obama's answer to CNBC reporter John Harwood's question Wednesday if he was embarrassed by all the money he received from Goldman Sachs during the 2008 presidential campaign or his former White House counsel, Greg Craig, signing on to help the investment bank fight the Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuit for alleged fraud.
An excerpt from CNBC's transcript:
HARWOOD: In the 2008 campaign, you got a lot of money, about a million dollars from employees of Goldman Sachs. Your former White House Counsel, Greg Craig is apparently going to represent Goldman Sachs. In light of this case, do either of those things embarrass you?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No. First of all, I got a lot of money from a lot of people. And the vast majority of the money I got was from small donors all across the country. And moreover, anybody who gave me money during the course of my campaign knew that I was on record, again in 2007 and 2008, pushing very strongly that we needed to reform how Wall Street did business.
And so, there — nobody should be surprised in the position that I'm taking now, because it's one that I was very clear about during the course of the campaign. As for— as far as my former— White House Counsel Greg Craig, he's one of the top lawyers in the country. He has a range of clients. But we have the toughest ethic rules— that any President's ever had. And the one thing that he knows is— is that he cannot talk to the White House, he cannot lobby the White House. Once he left the White House, he cannot in any way use his former position to have any influence on us. And so— neither of those things, I think, are gonna have any bearing on how we move forward on this issue of Wall Street reform.