President Obama's campaign manager has a message for Wall Street: This time around, we'll lay off.
Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, told the hosts of a $38,500 per-plate fundraiser geared towards investment bankers and hedge fund managers that the president wouldn't make Wall Street look bad during his re-election campaign, Bloomberg reports. The assurance follows Obama's call to raise taxes on the rich in his latest budget proposal.
The current attempt at appeasement also comes as Obama attempts to win back the donors that provided him with so much last election. Despite criticizing Wall Street during a 2007 speech at the Nasdaq stock exchange, financial industry donations to Obama outpaced Wall Street cash to his GOP rival John McCain two-to-one at certain points in that campaign, according to the New York Daily News.
This time, Wall Street donors are instead favoring Republican candidates, their dollars going to the GOP by a five to one margin. And Mitt Romney, the Republican front runner and a former Wall Street man himself, is netting most of that cash, according to campaign finance data.
In addition, an October fundraiser geared towards Wall Street donors and headlined by billionaire investor Warren Buffett had a "disappointing" turn out, according to the New York Post.
Wall Street may be having a change of heart after Obama has repeatedly slammed the industry during his first few years in office. The president criticized the financial industry in a December 2009 CBS 60 Minutes interview for giving themselves big bonuses -- calling them "fat cat bankers" -- after U.S. taxpayers bailed them out. In April 2010, he chided a group of Wall Street leaders for their “reckless practices,” according to The New York Times.
Another Wall Street bugaboo may be Obama's push for more financial regulation -- some Wall Streeters said Obama's support for the Dodd-Frank financial reform act turned them off from the president.
Obama's repeated calls to raise taxes on the wealthy may also be ruffling the financial industry's feathers. The president's budget proposal for 2013 included a provision -- dubbed the "Buffett rule" -- that would require households making more than $1 million to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.