Obama's speech to U.S. Chamber of Commerce disappoints progressive groups
The President Obama who appeared before the Chamber of Commerce on Monday morning was nothing like the one the lobbying group's members had gotten to know over the two years they were at war.
Obama skipped his criticism of the group's politicking and its stance on various signature issues -- such as the financial regulatory overhaul and the health-care law -- that the administration had pushed forward.
He instead talked about being "more neighborly" and focused on issues, such as education and research investment, on which the government and corporations could cooperate to jump-start the economy.
While the speech drew applause from the business community (if only twice, and briefly), it made the president the target of other groups that expressed betrayal.
Not long after Obama had finished his speech, the criticism began.
A progressive New York group called the Agenda Project released a video slamming the president for meeting with the chamber, which over the past two years had been the equivalent of the White House's arch-enemy. The chamber clashed with the administration over foreign money in elections, the health-care law, the financial regulation overhaul and numerous other issues.
"Two weeks ago the president promised that he would work to rebuild people's faith in government -- meeting with the biggest lobbyists in the country is hardly a step in the right direction," said Erica Payne, the Agenda Project's founder.
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, was just as harsh:
It's unclear what is more mortifying: President Barack Obama choosing the club of America's notorious job-offshorers to talk about the importance of creating American jobs, or his rallying of his fiercest political opponents to help him overcome the majority of Americans who oppose more-of-the-same job-killing trade agreements and pass a NAFTA-style deal with Korea that the government's own analysis shows will increase our trade deficit.
Ariana Eunjung Cha
| February 7, 2011; 3:20 PM ET
Categories: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, White House
Save & Share: Previous: Obama to Chamber of Commerce on shared goals: Making U.S. 'the best place on Earth to do business'
Next: Economic agenda: Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011
Posted by: solsticebelle | February 7, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: john19 | February 7, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dailyfare | February 8, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse