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President Obama observed the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by sharing his weekly address with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the architect of the Bureau—but without making any mention of Richard Cordray, the CFPB Director.
President Obama very rarely brings in a guest to contribute to his weekly address, which is broadcast online and on radio. Sen. Warren’s visibility recently has become more ubiquitous, thanks primarily to the attention she received when her name was floated as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton.
In many ways, the President’s joint appearance with Sen. Warren marks an unusual pairing because the White House bypassed her in 2011 by naming Cordray, a former Ohio Attorney general, as the CFPB’s first Director. Cordray, who was also floated as a potential Clinton running mate, was never mentioned once during the presentation.
While President Obama and Sen. Warren briefly cited the Bureau’s mission, much of their message seemed to be focused on Election Day, with a heavy partisan concentration on bashing the financial services industry and Republicans for questioning the CFPB’s goals and authority
“Republicans and big banks who opposed these commonsense rules claimed they’d hurt the economy,” the President said. “But we’ve seen what happened to the economy when we didn’t have these rules. And despite their claims, our economy is stronger today than it was before the crisis. Since we dug out from the worst of it, our businesses have added almost 15 million new jobs. Corporate profits are up, lending to businesses is up, and the stock market has hit an all-time high. So the idea this was bad for business just doesn’t hold water. Now our task should be making sure we build on those gains, and make sure they’re felt by everybody.”
“But every year, like clockwork, big banks and their Republican allies in Congress try to roll back these protections and undermine the consumer watchdog, whose only job is to look out for you,” Sen. Warren added. “Their nominee for President promises to dismantle all of it. They may have forgotten about the crisis, but working families sure haven’t. We haven’t either. And that’s why we’re not going to let them give Wall Street the ability to threaten our economy all over again.”