09/04/2012 11:09 am ET Updated Sep 04, 2012

Valerie Jarrett: Business Community Has 'Great Deal Of Confidence' In Obama

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said while it may be true that the financial industry isn't giving as much money to President Barack Obama in this election, it's only because a handful of former corporate donors are still mad about Wall Street reform.

During a Bloomberg breakfast event Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention, Jarrett responded to questions about why Wall Street is giving double the amount of money to Mitt Romney when, in 2008, Obama got the bulk of corporate donations.

"I think you have to separate the few on Wall Street from the rest of the business community," Jarrett said. "There are a lot of businesses outside of New York who have a great deal of confidence in the president, who have worked very closely with him."

She gave the example of businesses that have partnered with the administration to design curricula meant to better prepare community college students for the workforce when they graduate.

"The fact of the matter is ... a few folks on Wall Street really pushed against Dodd-Frank and having rules of the road in place. And the fact of the matter is, we cannot afford to have the taxpayers of the United States have to come to the rescue of the banks again," she said.

Jarrett took a swipe at those on Wall Street who lobbied against the Dodd-Frank bill becoming law, particularly the piece of it that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There was so much Republican opposition to creating the agency that Obama stepped in and installed its director by recess appointment.

"They fought against having the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that's designed to look out for the consumer," Jarrett said. "You have to ask yourself, 'Why did they fight against that?'"

The most important thing, she said, is that Obama has support from "a robust number of small donors all across the country."

Asked how Obama would work with the business community differently in a second term, Jarrett cited corporate tax reform as an area where the two can come together.

"That's something we're going to do in concert with the business community," she said. "There is plenty of room for common ground."



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