July 14th, 2010
12:33 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama quietly huddles with Warren Buffett

President Obama met Wednesday with billionaire Warren Buffett at the White House.
President Obama met Wednesday with billionaire Warren Buffett at the White House.

Washington (CNN) - As the recession continues to play a monumental role in the midterm election battle, CNN has learned that President Barack Obama quietly met with billionaire Warren Buffett for an hourlong meeting at the White House Wednesday, according to senior officials familiar with the chat.

The 11:15 a.m. meeting was not listed on Obama's public schedule, the officials said, but the White House released a photograph of the encounter after it had ended.

In addition to the economic crisis, the two men discussed energy reform and other issues, according to the officials.

As the president continues to push for more private-sector jobs, one senior administration official said additional big guns could be expected to pay visits to the White House.

"This effort will continue," the official said.

Beyond the optics of a Buffett visit, business giants can offer something Obama's highly credentialed economics team can't, the official said - "Outside perspective from people who are working in business every single day."

Buffett formally endorsed Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign, giving him critical credibility in the heated battle with Republican presidential candidate John McCain over which man would better handle the financial crisis.

But the so-called "Sage of Capitalism" has sometimes been critical of Obama's handling of the economy as president. In March 2009, Buffett suggested that the new commander-in-chief had too much on his plate.

"And I think we've had, and it's the nature of the political process somewhat, but we've had muddled messages and the American public does not know," Buffett said on CNBC. "They feel they don't know what's going on, and their reaction then is to absolutely pull back."

At the time, White House aides said Buffett was focusing his criticism more on the process in Washington than on Obama himself.

At the meeting's end, Obama presented Buffett, one of the world's richest men, with a tie. A senior White House said the gift was "not pre-planned" but a gesture from the president "at the end of the meeting because his [Buffett's] tie was frayed."

The aide said Buffett was offered a choice between a red and blue tie and chose the red.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Warren Buffet
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Barack.Hussein.Obama-America's-Incompetent-DICTATOR

    Has Warren Buffet gone senile??? First the dummy endorses this incompetent clown for President and now he still associates with him after seeing all of Obozo's socialist policies.

    Warren Buffet has taken a real fall in my book. He should be smart enough to realize he, and many others, were Obambozzled!

    July 14, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. MikeH

    If McCain/Palin had been in charge, there'd be permanent tax breaks for the wealthy, BP would be getting paid compensation for their inconvienient oil well blow-out, we'd be starting a third war with Iran for the military-industrial complex to profit from, Medicare and Social Security would be handed over to Goldman-Sachs, and Palin would be advising people to seek faith-healers as part of the Republican health-care plan.

    Absolutely no doubt about it, Obama was the right man in the right place to save America from Republican-planned economic ruin and the conversion of America into the RepubliKlan Fourth Reich.

    July 14, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Robert

    WOW – really love the advise about who could handle the economic future of the US....McCain or Obama – but did Buffet know that Geithner (I can't do Turbo Tax) was going to be put in charge??? What a joke!

    July 14, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. KImberly

    Obama is a smart man, and he is using all he has at his disposal. Unlike BUSH, the decider! I am so happy with this president, he is working hard to fix the mess that bush left on the plate. Mr. President, you have more class and brains in your little finger than the one before you. I trust in you, as do a majority of the country!

    July 14, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Charlie in Maine

    Mr. President you a better "Listener in Chief" than we've had from either party in a long time. Please listen to this guy well.

    July 14, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Nick

    Thank God for Barack Obama, the greatest, brightest President we've had in decades.

    July 14, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. DJ in TX

    OK Conservatives – you asked for more business people to be around Obama. He's doing that. What say you now?

    I'm still waiting on one GOP to explain to me how cutting taxes for business will help them hire people.

    I just don't think that cutting the taxes for Dell, HP, Microsoft, IBM, etc would have stopped the massive layoffs these and others had. So we cut taxes, now states, as they are already doing, are laying off people as well as they don't have the funds to pay them. Teachers, police, firefighters, etc, are being let go or not being hired as the states are broke. So cut taxes, state workers get laid off. Cut them for business, they still lay off, with no jobs for these people to go to..............BTW – now you don't want those people to have unemployment.........what a country..........

    July 14, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Angus McDugan

    He will pretend to listen to Buffet but unfortunately he will not be able to keep up or understand. Ultimately, Obama's answer to our economic disaster is to blame Bush. Why does Obama keep refusing to take ownership. When I hear anyone provide an excuse instead of a solution, I understand that they are really saying that they are not about to work on a solution and things are not going to change.

    I hope all the cool college kids that got suckered into voting for Obama realize now that he was about as qualified as Mr. Greene in S.C.

    July 14, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Obama Reid, and Pelosi are toxic

    If all the Democrats can run on only to blame Bush and to think the American people will ignore the fact that they were ignored and had shoved down our throats for two years a highly toxic Marxist and Socialist agenda, then the Administration is more moronic than I thought.

    Bush was wrong in spending too much, but if Bush is at fault why are we spending now four or five times as much. Its like Charles Manson saying killing is wrong, but goes out and slaughters more people over the weekend. It's insane. The sooner we take away the rains of this absolutely destructive Administration and have checks and balances and conservativism back in our society, the sooner we can undo the destruction implemented by this inept, weak, destructive politician that is historic in how much he can destroy a country in literally 19 months.

    Future generations wil hate us for the healthcare, the debt, the cap and trade EPA regulatins, the regulation that stifles economic freedom for generations to come. They will only fantasize about the days we had with a real leader like Ronald Reagan, that gave a damn more about the American people than his own power and ideology.

    July 14, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. Jimmy

    Just goes to show you even Warren Buffet can make mistakes....and boy did he make a big one assuming Obama could handle any crisis as we have found out Obama is nothing but a well spoken empty suit, who has no idea how to run anything.

    July 14, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. BeverlyNC

    Warren Buffet did choose the best man he thought could have the ability to fix the economy. If McCain had won, we would be in a Deep Depression worse than in 1929.

    President Obama is intelligent and his ego does not get in the way of turning to experts for opinions. People who are constantly willing to learn and increase knowledge make the best leaders. They can see the big picture and make wise long-term decisions.

    President Obama has done an outstanding job restoring our nation and bringing the culprits who destroyed it under control. He has set the environment to encourage businesses to hire more workers and keep jobs here in America. You can't fix 8 years of stupid and destructive Republican policies in 18 months. Decisions they took had cascading effects that will take more time to fix and reset.

    At least we have a President and a Democratic Congress who is DOING something and DELIVERING solutions to help working families. We need them in office to keep us moving forward and creating an even better future for the American People.

    Let's get ALL Republicans out of office in November. No one wants a bunch of do-nothing liars who want to take us back to the failed Bush years. Democrats stand up for the PEOPLE. Republicans only work to protect corporations...they are obviously haters of the middle class – voting NO on everything and calling us "the lesser people".

    Well, we "lesser people" have a vote and we will use it to say NO and HELL NO to every single Republican who has betrayed this nation.

    July 14, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Rickster

    Well, I'll give Barry credit....the community organizer may be finally admitting that he is in way over his head. Neither he nor his entire administration has ever held a real job in their lives so he's trying to find some help from somebody.

    July 14, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. gary

    Warren says: BALANCE THE BUDGET!!!!!

    July 14, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. JES

    I can see Warren trying to explain to Obama you can't spend more than you take in.

    Don't wast you time Obama knows everything and can walk on water.

    July 14, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Here2Opine

    Well it's about time he sit with someone who actually has an idea about business.

    July 14, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Linda C

    I feel bad for BO, I really do! Obama should consider firing all the inepts around him ASAP! He should also seek Bill Clinton's advice because he is probably the only who can salvage his presidency in 2012...

    July 14, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Obama's probably just getting stock advice.......he has only a couple of years to make his fortune, before he goes home to Chicago.

    July 14, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. thor

    Buffet should lose all his money for his poor decision to support Obama in his bid to become president . Deep down in his soul i bet he has "buyer's remorse"

    July 14, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. New Age Independant

    Buffet's endorsement went a long way with me when I cast my vote. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that Buffet has the same skills he used to have.

    July 14, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Rod

    I think it is great that President Obama can still reach out to people such as Warren Buffet. It shows that he is using all the necessary steps in bringing this economy back. If you take a good look around the economy is coming back slowly but surely. It has only been over 18 months and he has done a phenominal job considering what was handed to him. I asked if both sides of the politcal spectrum to give this young man a chance. I gave my last commander in chief the up most respect, especially when I was deployed to IRAQ (2), AFGHANISTAN (1). Please as a recent retired VET, lets give this President the chance he deserve..

    THANKS

    July 14, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. ConsiderThis - FL

    The recent article titled "Death of a Salesman" which talks about how the American people dissapprove of everything President Obama is doing on the economic front and that they have no faith in his economic policies sickens me to the core. It's as though the American people would PREFER the way the economy was BEFORE President Obama took office; we were all just about to line up for soup! Are Americans THAT STUPID? Do they really think that President Obama hasn't made ANY POSITIVE PROGRESS towards bringing our economy back from the brink of collaps? If so, America doesn't deserve a President with Mr. Obama's intellect, courage, vision, political acumen, leadership, work ethic and sense of responsibility to do what he can to allow ALL AMERICANS to live and enjoy the pursuit of happiness. If America thinks that the Republican party is the answer to President Obama, believe me, we'll get just what we deserve for being so STUPID! Then, we'll wish that President Obama was still in office. The idiots who criticize him constantly in the media (Palin, Romney, McCain; among others) couldn't even run a successful political campaign of their own. And, to think that the American people want someone of their ilk to be President is beyond stupid; it's downright IGNORANT!

    July 14, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. InlandEmperor

    Excellent move Mr President. We have great confidence that you can hold a meaningful conversation with this esteemed gentleman...and exchange ideas on how to continue your resurrection of our economy from the Bush "lite" yearsof economic disaster.

    July 14, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Chris

    President Obama has all but saved this economy and nation, as he reaches out for more ideas on how to improve the economy, all the Republicans do is say "no" and do nothing and they are the ones who got us into this mess.

    July 14, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Bedtime for Obonzo

    I have a better caption for the picture:

    "Buffet shows the President what a balance sheet and an income statement look like."

    July 14, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. al in memphis

    Tomorrow GOP headline - Obama waste time entertaining Buffet instead of suiting up to stop BP oil spill in gulf.

    But the so-called "Sage of Capitalism" has sometimes been critical of Obama's handling of the economy as President, including in March of 2009 when Buffet suggested to CNBC that the new commander-in-chief had too much on his plate.

    "And I think we've had, and it's the nature of the political process somewhat, but we've had muddled messages and the American public does not know," Buffet said then. "They feel they don't know what's going on,
    ____________________________________________________

    In other words, there was so much stuff that had to be fixed to keep the ship from sinking. Also, it would be good if the American public really could get some information about how bad the political process really is. If so, there would be special election all over the country.

    July 14, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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