CHICAGO -- President-elect Barack Obama doesn't think much of big-business executives' ability to related to the common man -- and says bank executives should forgo their bonuses this year as an example of taking responsibility in tough times.
He told Walters executives should make sacrifices because so many other people are struggling.
"I think that if you are already worth tens of millions of dollars, and you are having to lay off workers ... the least you can do is say, 'I'm willing to make some sacrifice as well, because I recognize that there are people who are a lot less well off, who are going through some pretty tough times," Obama told ABC's Barbara Walters in interview excerpts released by the network.
Obama said the Big 3 automakers are a 'little tone deaf to what's happening in America right now' -- a problem that has become chronic.
The heads of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler drew fire last week for flying to Washington in separate corporate jets to ask Congress for federal assistance for their ailing companies.
"We're sort of focused on them. But I think it's been a problem for the captains of industry generally," Obama told Walters in the interview, to air Wednesday. "When people are pulling down hundred million dollar bonuses on Wall Street, and taking enormous risks with other people's money, that indicates a sense that you don't have any perspective on what's happening to ordinary Americans."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.