Washington (CNN) – On the day before President Obama delivers his first State of the Union address, he broke bread at a private White House luncheon with top business leaders representing the insurance, oil, and banking industries.
"The Obama administration has reached out throughout the first year to develop an ongoing dialogue with the business community as we work (to) rebuild and strengthen our economy for the long-term," a White House official familiar with the meeting told CNN. "The lunch is the fourth of its kind hosted by the President this year, and follows a series of meetings with top administration officials with business leaders throughout the country."
The meeting comes at a time when some of the industries represented at the luncheon have been criticized by the White House, and just days after the president told a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio that he was fighting to curb the excesses of Wall Street. In his daily briefing, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs acknowledged there are areas of disagreement between the president and some of the business leaders, but noted that the lines of communication remain open.
"[S]imply because they may disagree on some issues doesn't mean they're not going to talk on a whole range of issues relating to the soundness of our economy," Gibbs said.
The White House released the names of the six business leaders who met Tuesday with President Obama:
· Mort Zuckerman, Boston Properties
· Ed Rust, State Farm Insurance
· Shelly Lazarus, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
· Jim Hackett, Anadarko Petroleum
· Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan
· Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil