July 14th, 2010
07:16 PM ET
12 years ago

White House dials a popular friend for help

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/14/art.clintonobama.gi.afp.file.jpg caption ="According to a White House official, President Obama hosted a meeting with Bill Clinton and business leaders at the White House on Wednesday."]

Washington (CNN) - White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs Wednesday sought to deflect suggestions that former President Bill Clinton is a friendlier bridge to the business community than President Barack Obama.

"No, no," Gibbs replied, when asked at his daily briefing whether Clinton's "more moderate economic policies" were a selling point with business executives who were also attending meetings Wednesday at the White House.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hosted an hour-long meeting Wednesday afternoon at the White House with Clinton and business leaders, according to a White House official.

The meeting was to discuss new ways to create jobs and strengthen the partnership between the public and private sectors to make new investments in the clean energy industry. Participants discussed a number of different strategies, including ways to encourage energy efficiency that would help put people to work, and they agreed that making buildings more energy-efficient should be a priority as energy-bill discussions move forward, the official said.

Gibbs, at his briefing, insisted the former president was at the White House to talk about clean energy jobs and discuss work his foundation is doing to retrofit large buildings and make them more energy-efficient.

Even so, former President Clinton has recently stepped up his efforts on behalf of the Obama administration.

As CNN first reported Tuesday, Clinton will hit the road to campaign aggressively for Democrats in key congressional races ahead of the midterm elections.

When asked by CNN if the White House viewed him as a critical lifeline, Gibbs said, "I think it would be crazy not to have a former, a very popular former president out campaigning, as he has in virtually every election cycle that I can remember in the last, well since 1992, so almost 20 years."

Gibbs added that Clinton "has probably been campaigning longer than I've been working in politics and you've been reporting."

Filed under: Bill Clinton • President Obama • White House
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Poston

    We would get rght back on track if Obama would just move over and let Clinton drive. POTUS was never meant to be a position that requires hand holding and training.

    July 14, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. Jack

    Bubba......we need you man! Get your wife to run again in 2012 while you are at it

    July 14, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. Hugo

    Wow, Help me Bill, Help me, I'm lost and don't know how to run the Nation...
    Can you ever remember another President leaning on a prior President like this? This is almost scary, remember this? Who do you want in the Whitehouse when that 3:00 AM call comes? This is as comical as the 3.5 million jobs saved or created. They neglect to tell you that the near trillion in stimulus lions share went to the States that used the funds to keep their inept State employees employed and fund their unsustainable pension legacies for the last two years. All while the private side continues to slide into the dismal abyss of unemployment.At least Slick Willie understands the difference between creating or saving a government job and creating private sector commerce. Maybe we would all be better off if Bill just took the lead and let Barry go get him some coffee....

    July 14, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I think they need to dig up Harry (Truman) and run him again. Harry was no winner but sure beats the hell out of what the Democrats have sprewed up lately.

    July 14, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. terry,va

    Obummie is a socialist and hates business. He is too stupid to realize that is where the governments money comes from. Clinton doesn't have any affection for business, but he was smart enough to know how his bread was buttered. Clinton also had the repubs that countered his silly acts. We therefore got a balanced budget. Obummie and the dumbocraps will bankrupt this country if they remain in control of government.

    July 14, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. Clinton's "more moderate economic policies" were a selling point

    be careful, don't get to close to the fire, you'll get burned Mr. Obama

    July 14, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. Keith in Austin

    Signs of desperation run amuk in Liberal fantasyland.

    What is going to be hilarious is to watch how fast Clinton will throw Barry Obozo under the bus the minute Hillary decides to run for POTUS!

    July 14, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. George of the jungle

    Good move Bill Clinton is still thought of very highly all over the world. And he was a good president inspite of what the repos say. In fact he didn't go to Argentina or wear diapers or go to strip clubs so they should just shut up about his exploits as they havent done much better. As a president he was great and remember we had a balanced budget. I think he will help the president and Hillary is doing a fine job also. Can you see someone like palin in her job? What a joke.

    July 14, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |