Anthony Scaramucci, who is President Donald Trump’s new White House Communications Director, was once known as the guy who asked President Barack Obama to stop hitting the “Wall Street Pinata.” During a 2010 town hall broadcast on CNBC, Obama responded by telling Scaramucci that the people on Main Street think they’re the ones who “got beat up on.”
When Scaramucci was first called on to ask a question, the Harvard Law School graduate reminded the president that they went to the university together. “You’ve done very well! Congratulations, that’s great,” Obama said as the audience laughed.
Then, Scaramucci told Obama that members of the Wall Street community have “felt like a pinata” since Obama took office in 2009. “Maybe you don’t feel like you’re beating us with a stick but we certainly feel like we’ve been whacked with a stick,” he said. Scaramucci asked Obama how the government will work towards “healing” both Wall Street and Main Street after the 2008 financial crisis. “When are we going to stop whacking Wall Street like a pinata?”
At this point, Obama took over the situation. “I have been amused by this sense of me beating up on Wall Street. I think most folks on Main Street think they got beat up on,” Obama said. “And there’s probably a big chunk of the country that thinks I have been too soft on Wall Street – that’s probably the majority, not the minority.”
A few days after the exchange, Scaramucci told the New York Times that he shouldn’t have used the word “pinata.” He added, “[Obama] came at me with a baseball bat.”
The moment could be seen as a turning point in Scaramucci’s experience with politics. He had been a fundraiser for Obama and Democrats in 2008, but told the Times in 2010 that he was not happy about Obama appearing to not acknowledging that there are good people who work on Wall Street. In 2012, Scaramucci was a major donor for Mitt Romney’s campaign. He went on to work in the Trump campaign and was on the transition team after the November election.