President Obama slammed Sen. Elizabeth Warren's comments that a free-trade deal the president is negotiating would roll back Wall Street regulations, saying the Massachusetts Democrat is "absolutely wrong" and that "her arguments don't stand the test of fact and scrutiny."
Obama, who made the comments to Yahoo News, is fighting resistance from the Democratic Party's progressive wing over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement the United States is working on with Japan, Australia and nine other nations.
Warren has claimed Obama might use the trade agreement to undo the so-called Dodd-Frank regulations on banks and financial institutions. But Obama called the accusation ludicrous, saying the 2010 law is one of the top achievements of his presidency.
"Think about the logic of that, right? The notion that I had this massive fight with Wall Street to make sure that we don't repeat what happened in 2007, 2008. And then I sign a provision that would unravel it? I'd have to be pretty stupid," he said.
Warren is a darling of the progressive wing and has led the rallying cry on reining in Wall Street banks. She's taken a strong stance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Obama said that Warren's comments were largely political — many on the Left want her to run for president, though she's consistently said she won't do so in 2016.
"The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else," Obama said. "And you know, she's got a voice that she wants to get out there. And I understand that. And on most issues, she and I deeply agree. On this one, though, her arguments don't stand the test of fact and scrutiny."
Congress will soon debate whether to give Obama Trade Promotion Authority, or "Fast Track," that would call for an up-or-down vote on the trade agreement without revision by Congress. The Left is expected to oppose that measure.
Left-wing groups have derided the trade talks, saying they're another iteration of the North American Free Trade Agreement that's reviled by trade unions and environmental organizations. But Obama said those allegations amount to fear-mongering with little substance.
"I understand the emotions behind it," Obama said. "But when you break down the logic of their arguments, I've got to say that there's not much there there."