In business outreach, Obama mulls lobby group speech

WASHINGTON Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:33pm EST

President Barack Obama listens to journalists' questions during a news conference at the NATO Summit in Lisbon November 20, 2010. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

President Barack Obama listens to journalists' questions during a news conference at the NATO Summit in Lisbon November 20, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hanna

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is considering giving a speech in January to the Chamber of Commerce, a major business lobby, as part of a new outreach to corporations, a White House official said on Saturday.

The White House and the Chamber have tussled repeatedly during the first two years of Obama's administration over policies that the group has portrayed as unfriendly to business.

After the November 2 congressional elections, which handed Republicans control of the House of Representatives and dented Democrats' majority in the Senate, Obama said he had to do a better job of making sure the business community knew they had a supporter in the White House.

The White House official said Obama, a Democrat, had been invited to speak to the Chamber on December 2, but that event had been canceled.

"The Chamber has also invited the president to speak in January and we are considering the invitation to see if it will work in the schedule," the official said.

An Obama speech to the lobby group would be a high-profile way of trying to mend relations tested by disagreements over policies such as Obama's failed attempt to enact a "cap and trade" system to limit industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

Stung by the election and public impressions that Obama had not done enough to fight high joblessness, administration officials have signaled the White House now would focus its message largely on efforts to improve the economy.

"Economic recovery is the most important goal for the president and working with all of the stakeholders, including the Chamber of Commerce, on export promotion, free and fair trade to grow the economy and create jobs is an important part of achieving that goal," a White House spokeswoman said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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Comments (2)
PrincipeReale wrote:
The man is truly unbelievable. He insults the Chamber and then he tries to appeal to them. He lies continually to cover up in ineptness and really is lost when it comes to leadership.

Nov 20, 2010 4:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ginchinchili wrote:
Hypocrite. Like no Republican has ever criticized a major lobbying group that has raised vast amounts of money for Democratic candidates. So he wants to work with them. Why is that so bad?

Obama is a decent man doing the best we can expect considering what he has to deal with, and unquestionably better than Bush. You people treat our President like he’s a terrorist and in the process you totally disrespect the office of the US Presidency.

There’s only one explanation for it and that is that the US still has a lot of deeply held bigotry that is continuously trumping our morality. You just can’t tolerate having a black family in the White House. If it wasn’t so seriously disturbing I’d be amused at how the Republicans try presenting themselves as a religious, Christian group of folks and yet there’s so many who put so little of what Jesus teaches into practice. So many are hateful bigots who worship their guns; are always enthusiastic about killing, whether through the death penalty or military conflicts; extremely materialistic and judgmental; and put far more energy into doing away with help for the poor rather than actually helping the poor. They are dragging the United States down at a very fast rate. God does NOT bless America.

Nov 20, 2010 8:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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