“You have a Republican Congress, and Republican candidates for president, who have actively stated that they want to roll back the financial regulations that have been put in place,” Obama said, according to Rolling Stone.
In response to public criticism regarding the scant prosecution of those individuals who contributed to the 2008 financial collapse, Obama said that the line between illegal and irresponsible can be blurry.
“First of all, we’re a nation of laws,” Obama said, according to Rolling Stone. “So, in some cases, really irresponsible practices that hurt a lot of people might not have been technically against the law. They might have been the wrong thing to do, but prosecutors are required to actually build cases based on what the law is. That’s part of the reason we’ve passed Wall Street reform: to make much clearer what is prohibited and what is not, to set up rules and regulations that say, ‘You can’t do this, and if you do do it, there are going to be consequences.’”
The president said, however, that the administration is still pursuing a legal course of action to prosecute those who individuals who did break the law.
“We’ve set up a task force not just with the federal government, but with state attorney generals, that as we speak are actively going through all the records, issuing subpoenas,” Obama said, Rolling Stone reports. “They will, on the basis of law, make determinations as to whether there are prosecutions out there.”