Former President Barack Obama has given at least nine paid speeches since leaving office in January, likely raking in millions of dollars in the process.
Obama delivered a paid address before brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald on Monday, the New York Times reported.
"An hour inside Barack Obama's post-presidential life included boxed sandwiches, scores of money managers, and a treatise on health care reform," the Times reported. "Those were the main ingredients on Monday when Mr. Obama spoke in Manhattan at a conference on health care sponsored by the brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald—at least his ninth paid speech since leaving office."
The speech, which ran about 25 minutes, addressed Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, the former president's signature legislative achievement. Cantor Fitzgerald was Obama's third appearance before a financial group this month: he also addressed money-management firm Northern Trust Corporation and private-equity firm Carlyle Group.
Obama regularly rakes in six figures in speaking fees during his Wall Street appearances. His speech before Northern Trust brought in approximately $400,000, the Washington Free Beacon noted earlier this month. He extracted a similar fee from Cantor Fitzgerald.
Obama's Wall Street paydays have attracted criticism from some of his progressive peers. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said that Obama's speaking fees were "unfortunate," especially given that he was taking the money from Wall Street. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) also said she was "troubled" by the speeches.
In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote that such big money arrangements could be a corrupting influence.