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‘Isn’t That What Sorta Cost Hillary the Election?’: Maher Hits Obama for Paid Wall Street Speech

Over the past few days, there has been much discussion devoted to the revelations that now that he’s a private citizen, former President Barack Obama has taken to getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches on Wall Street. Countless opinion columns have been written on the subject, and progressive stalwarts Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have weighed in, explaining how “troubled” and “sorry” they are over Obama’s choice.

So, it only made sense that Bill Maher would provide his take on the whole situation. During the Overtime portion of Real Time last night, the comedian wanted to know if it was unseemly for the 44th president to take $400,000 for a Wall Street speech. Panelist Tara Setmayer said it’s not a big deal and a lot of the people who are “righteously indignant” about this make a lot of money themselves.

“Isn’t that what sorta cost Hillary the election?” Maher asked, referencing the Goldman Sachs speeches Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made that caused her headaches during the campaign.

“The difference is, ‘Are you in the pocket of Wall Street?’, and she’s running for office,” Rob Reiner noted. “He’s not running for anything right now.”

“It kinda looks like when he’s on our team we’re OK with it,” Maher shot back.

After Reiner responded by saying he doesn’t think that’s the case and if Obama were potentially running for office again he’d feel differently, Maher made the case that presidents may now just be looking forward to highly-paid speeches after they leave office and govern accordingly.

“So isn’t the best thing to do, take your $10 million book deal,” he added. “Can’t you live on that?”

Watch the segment above (the relevant part starts around the 4:05 mark), via HBO.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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