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Burdened by low approval on the economy, President Obama brought former president Bill Clinton and investor Warren Buffett to the White House on Wednesday to talk about job creation.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs denied that Clinton — who oversaw record surpluses and was generally seen as business-friendly — was brought in to mediate between business leaders and Obama, now under fire from corporate leaders for his economic policies.
This week, the US Chamber of Commerce issued a harsh letter complaining that the White House is burdening businesses with too much regulation and hampering job growth.
“Do I think they speak monolithically for business? No,” Gibbs said of the Chamber.
On Wednesday, the White House also responded directly to the Chamber. “We were surprised and disappointed by the rhetoric we have heard from some in the business community,” White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett wrote in a letter addressed to the Chamber. “While we may not agree on every single issue, we should always remember that there is much we agree on and that we are all working towards the same goal of putting American back to work and getting our economy back on track,” they wrote.
Clinton, whose foundation is working on clean energy programs that would employ additional workers, and Buffett met with Obama as part of a White House push on the economy and employment. On Tuesday, Obama tapped Jacob Lew as budget director and publicly directed him to reduce the deficit. On Thursday, Obama travels to Michigan to talk job creation once more.
Gibbs said the timing of the two Wednesday meetings was coincidental, and that Buffett initiated their sit-down.
Bill Clinton’s gotta be loving this, considering how Obama repeatedly trashed the Clinton economy during the Democrat primaries in 2008, not to mention the race-baiting done to the Clintons by Team Obama.