ABC's George Stephanopoulos lobbied President Obama Monday to "put a stop" to Bank of America's new service charge for its debit card customers.
"You might have a new issue on your plate," the former Democratic political operative advised the President about the new five dollar monthly debit card fee for Bank of America customers. In the interview which aired on ABCNews.com and Yahoo.com at 2:35 p.m. EDT, Stephanopoulos pulled the question from the audience and beseeched Obama "Can you stop this service charge?"
[Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Later in the interview, the ABC News anchor asked another question from the left, this time on the matter of gay marriage. "So you've said your position is evolving. You've said you've struggled with it. What more do you need to know?" he pressed Obama.
Stephanopoulos rounded out the interview with three softball questions about the President's personal life, including one about the best advice he's received from his wife, Michelle.
The last question had to do with what websites the President visits. "Everyone wants to know, which websites do you surf?" Stephanopoulos asked Obama. "You know, I'm pretty eclectic," the President answered. "I read a lot of news that I used to read in print, I read on the web now."
A transcript of the segment, which aired on ABC's Good Morning America on October 4 at 7:12 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
STEPHANOPOULOS: (Voice-over) More than 40,000 questions came in online for the President, most expressing anxiety and anger about the economy, including outrage at Bank of America's five dollar debt card fee. Vicki Menkel wrote, "Those are the types of things government should get involved in and put a stop to."
(To Obama) Can you put a stop to that?
OBAMA: Well what we did was we put a stop through the Financial Reform Act of them charging fees for credit cards.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the banks are saying that's creating these new charges –
OBAMA: Well – what the banks are saying is that rather than take a little bit less of a profit, rather than paying multi-million dollar bonuses, let's treat our customers right. And this is exactly why we need this Consumer Finance Protection Bureau that we set up, that is ready to go –
STEPHANOPOULOS: Can you stop this service charge?
OBAMA: Well you can stop it because if you say to the banks you don't have some inherent right just to get a certain amount of profit, if your customers are being mistreated – and my hope is, is that you're going to see a bunch of the banks who say to themselves, you know what? This is actually not good business practice.