January 26th, 2010
06:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama meets with business leaders

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

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Doug

    Business as usual, just checking to make sure his campaign political reward money is paid on time. Noone from the Chamber of Commerce, wow, is this getting old. Are you sure there was a reason to be there?

    January 26, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. cmoore

    That's a joke Obama hates all 3. This is laughable. Do you actually believe he wants to work with them or control them? He has shown his hand, now he has to live with it.

    January 26, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Yeah, there's a whole range of issues;

    " Hey, did you guys hear about that Supreme Court decision last week allowing businesses to donate as much as they want to political campaigns? Like my new digs? I'd like to stay in this neighboorhood at least until the girls are say, 7 years older. Let's talk! What do you need from us?"

    January 26, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. annie against biased news

    What was he threatening them with?

    January 26, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    The headline reads: "OBAME MEETS WITH BUSINESS LEADERS".

    I suspect that maybe it might be in his best interest to start meeting with and listening to the citizens in this country. You see if we all go belly up the businesses will follow because we will have no ability to make purchases from the "Business Leaders".

    I am rapidly growing tired of my President standing up for the business world while we suffer. He seems not to realize that he is hurting himself everytime he aligns himself with Big Business but he will find out in 3 years. One thing I can do as a citizen is to work as hard to get him out of office as I worked to get him in. That is Change I Can Beleive In.

    January 26, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. Jimmy James

    Amazing. One day they are evil and need to be punished, the next they are important to our economy, then back to evil and then back to being important to our economy. Ask them for help and call them evil. Tax them more and ask them for their input on how to help fix the economy.

    January 26, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Steph

    Look at that! A list of who attended...provided BY The Obama Administration. That never happened with the Dubya/Cheney crowd. That is the CHANGE we voted for!

    January 26, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Enough

    This is the closest thing to business experience Obama has had.......man never ran a business in his entire life or even worked for one, how can he possibly understand what it takes to get us hiring and working again? Plain and simple, he is clueless and it shows. Unions are NOT the answer to economic recovery, Unions lead to economic destruction.............just look at how they sucked the life out of GM.

    January 26, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Insurance, oil , banking – weren't they amoung his big corporate donors? I guess this is just to say thank you.

    January 26, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. Terry

    Obama is not a very bright guy if he thinks he can go on national tv and bash all of these people and their industries, and then think that they will help him. They will not help him with anything, you think i'm kidding, just look at our banks, Obama bashes them and what do they do, they stopped lending to business's and stopped modifying home mortgages. Thanks Obama, real smart.

    January 26, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. Objective Thinking

    And if Bush did the same...

    January 26, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Sue

    OBOMBa should trade in his Burburry suits and his wife's Non-Designer clothing and that , alone, could pay for Haitian devasation!!!
    These two people are DESTROYING Amrican values. They should both go back to ??? wherever??? they came from.

    January 26, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. Allowing a Monopoly doesnt bring down prices

    I cant wait to see all the new nascar style suits in Congress with their company logos.

    January 26, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. morgan thomas

    Why? So they can sit around and drink beer?

    January 26, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Here's my question to these business leaders:

    Are you in it for anything other than the Almighty Buck? For example, do you want a legacy of a sustainable company that benefitted your employees, city, country and society?

    Or are you just doing what you can to manipulate your own stock portfolio for short-term gain and to heck with everything else?

    I'm waiting ...

    January 26, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    Don't expect these big corporations will create jobs. They can't wait to lay off more workers and increase their productivity.

    Our hope is small businesses for job creation, but we need to give them Public Option. If we have a government-run health insurance in which workers pay to participate, small businesses can save premiums for start-ups and new jobs.

    January 26, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  17. WoW

    And you liberals say it's the Republicans who cater to "wall street." Take your blinders off liberals. Everyone does it, as you can clearly see. Stop thinking you're a bunch of exalted angels.

    January 26, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Fitz in Texas

    What, Obama is meeting with evil business leaders. Those evil business leaders that create jobs for many Americans. Well, one thing for sure, since Obama knows nothing about business perhaps these business leaders can teach Obama a thing or two.

    January 26, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. Right Leaning Independent

    These guys should have told Obama exactly what they think about his agenda! If it is ok for Obama to blast them in public, than turn around is fair play!! Obama is working the public into a frenzy against these industries and than has the arrogance to sit across from them and ask for opinions to help him. This guy is beyond belief!!

    January 26, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. Scott, Tucson

    What a joke! A community organizer without absolutely no business sense trying to tell these people how to conduct business. I imagine obama was telling these business leaders that although he's slamming them in the media, he would still want their financial support when he runs in 2012.

    January 26, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. R.O.B.

    Yeah, all the rich people. I would be more interested if he met with those who made less than $250,000 a year.

    January 26, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. What about Transparency?

    Private meetings, behind closed doors deal making........

    Your promises were nothing more than campaign lies.

    January 26, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. File under "Sarcasm"

    More political theater. Too bad it's tpp cold outside for a beer summit in the Rose Garden.

    I'm beginning to wonder about Obama's split personality. One day, he's bashing every big business in sight to prove he's on the side of "Main Street" and the next, he's inviting the leaders of the same big businesses to the White House for lunch. Is he going to try to make a deal with them to grease the skids on his new "the economy is job one" agenda like he did with Pharma and the Unions on the healthcare bills?

    January 26, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  24. Preston k

    Pkm mr obama be care ful these only want to make rich profits for them selves

    January 26, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. More show . . .

    . . . and no substance, Obama!

    January 26, 2010 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |