During a speech Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama referred toCEO Steve Jobs as an example of the “American dream” and one whose wealth should be celebrated.
Obama made the comments in response to a reporter’s question, Cnet reports.
“What is…a fact is that people in the top 1 percent, people in the top one-tenth of 1 percent, or one-hundredth of 1 percent have a larger share of income and wealth than any time since the 1920s,” said Obama. “Those are just facts. That’s not a feeling on the part of Democrats. Those are facts.”
“And something that’s always been the greatest strength of America is a thriving, booming middle class, where everybody has got a shot at the American dream. And that should be our goal. That should be what we’re focused on,” the President continued. “How are we creating opportunity for everybody? So that we celebrate wealth. We celebrate somebody like a Steve Jobs, who has created two or three different revolutionary products. We expect that person to be rich, and that’s a good thing. We want that incentive. That’s part of the free market.”
Obama met with Jobs in October to discuss “American competitiveness and education” with him. According to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, the President was “eager” to talk to Jobs.
Jobs recently made Forbes magazine’s annual list of the wealthiest Americans, climbing one spot to 42nd place. As of September, when Forbes calculated its results, Jobs’ estimated net worth was $6.1 billion, up from $5.1 billion in 2009.
Most of Jobs’ wealth comes from shares of Walt Disney Co. that he received when the media conglomerate acquired Pixar in 2006. Disney shares recently hit a 52 week high of $38.
Shares of Apple have also climbed as of late, passing the $300 mark in October. The Cupertino, Calif., company made news this year when it passed up Microsoft in terms of market capitalization to become the world’s largest technology company. In September, Apple overtook PetroChina Co. to become the world’s second largest company by market value.