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Obama: ‘I’m actually surprised by how much money I got’

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Former President Obama addressed global income inequality on Tuesday, saying even he is “surprised” by how rich he’s become over the years.

“Right now, I’m actually surprised by how much money I got,” the ex-commander in chief said during a speech in Johannesburg, South Africa, to mark the 100th anniversary of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s birth. The anti-apartheid leader died in 2013.

“And let me tell you something — I don’t have half as much as most of these folks, or a tenth, or a hundredth,” Obama told the crowd, as he addressed closing the wealth gap within and between countries.

{mosads}”There’s only so much you can eat,” he exclaimed with a grin. “There’s only so big a house you can have. There’s only so many nice trips you can take.”

After exiting the White House last year, the former president and Michelle Obama were photographed vacationing in various exotic locales around the world, including French Polynesia and Italy, among other spots.

“I mean, it’s enough. You don’t have to take a vow of poverty just to say, ‘Let me help out a few of the other folks,'” the 44th president said to applause from the audience.

“Let me look at that child out there who doesn’t have enough to eat or needs some school fees — let me help them out. I’ll pay a little more in taxes,” Obama continued as he touted what he called an “inclusive capitalism” in his most high-profile speech since leaving office. 

“It’s OK, I can afford it. I mean, it shows a poverty of ambition to just want to take more, and more, and more, instead of saying, ‘Wow, I’ve got so much, who can I help? How can I give, more, and more, and more?'”

“That’s ambition. That’s impact. That’s influence. What an amazing gift to be able to help people, not just yourself,” Obama said. 

The Obamas made more than $20 million between 2005 and 2016, largely because of lucrative book deals, according to Forbes. 

Tags income inequality Michelle Obama Nelson Mandela South Africa

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