The first gubernatorial debate for Ohio Democrats happened on Tuesday, and there’s still no word from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray on if he will choose to join the race. The decision would force Cordray to give up his role as director of the bureau before his time is slated to end in July 2018.
While he has remained mum on the topic, he has been promoting the work of the bureau in Ohio recently, generating a lot of speculation around his intentions to attend the events.
And to not mention the speech, compared to a lot of his past ones, gives a broad overview of how the bureau has helped consumers rather than announce a new rule or gives an update on a particular regulation.
Below is a piece of Cordray’s prepared remarks at the Ohio Land Bank Conference in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, which was also the same day at the first gubernatorial debate for Ohio Democrats.
Thank you for inviting me today. For more than five years now, I have had the honor to serve our country as the first director of the new U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In that time, we have built a brand-new federal agency from scratch. And we have sent a strong message to the banks and large financial companies that in a frank and fair way we are pushing them to clean up their act and put their customers first.
That has been hard work. It has been good work. And, above all, it has been enormously satisfying and important work. Our vision has been to reorder a consumer financial marketplace that works for American consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole.
The speech comes about a week after his speech at the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations’ (AFL-CIO) Labor Day Picnic, which was previously speculated to be the perfect setting to announce his run for Ohio governor. He, however, did not announce a run for governor at the time.
After reading through the prepared remarks of both speeches, either could’ve easily been adapted to fit a speech to announce a gubernatorial run.
Below are the excerpts from the end of both of his speeches.
Ohio Land Bank Conference:
Theodore Roosevelt, who envisioned our magnificent system of national parks, said: “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” At the Consumer Bureau, I know we have been making real progress to clear a pathway to opportunity, and to improve the financial marketplace all around us. Our dedicated efforts reflect our goal to put people in a position where they can make good choices for themselves that enhance their lives and empower them to succeed. In short, we want to see that every consumer counts. Thank you again for having me here today.
The Labor Day Picnic:
Economic injustice and illegal practices in consumer financial markets break that promise. That is why our work will always matter. As Dr. Martin Luther King taught us, economic rights are also civil rights. And they matter not just to some of us, but to all of us. We work with many strong leaders who strive to secure economic justice for more Americans. But when we fail to secure both economic rights and civil rights, we fall short of a just society.
We know we can do better, but it takes our people and our government, working hand in hand, to make that happen. Eleanor Roosevelt, who was herself an active member of the AFL-CIO through the Newspaper Guild, said of this holiday: “On Labor Day we must remember that this nation is founded to do away with classes and special privilege; that employer and worker have the same interest, which is to see that everyone in this nation has a life worth living.” We must all find our own ways to dedicate ourselves to that great task. Thank you again for having me here today.
One key detail to keep in mind is that Cordray is predicted to announce a bid for governor only after he issues a final payday loan rule. So until a final rule is announced, it appears as if the industry can expect him at the bureau.