[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."