VINEYARD HAVEN, Massachusetts — US President Barack Obama on Monday reached out to respected business figures Warren Buffett and Ford chief Alan Mulally as he frames a major new plan on jobs and the deficit.
Obama made the calls from his rented vacation farm house on the well-heeled resort island of Martha’s Vineyard off Massachusetts, deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
The president often cites billionaire Berkshire Hathaway chief Buffett as an example of the well-off category of American who would not mind paying higher taxes to benefit the rest of the country.
“The president and Mr Buffett discussed the overall outlook on the economy and the reaction to the headwinds we’ve experienced over the last couple of months,” Earnest said.
“They talked a little bit about some possible measures that would spur investment and increase economic growth. And they also talked about some measures that could address the long-term fiscal situation in this country.”
Obama and Mulally discussed the auto and manufacturing industries and expanding growth, stimulating exports and investment, Earnest said.
Also on Monday, Obama, who has been criticized by Republicans for taking a vacation while many Americans face severe economic struggles, was briefed on market and financial developments by Brian Deese, a top economic aide.
Obama has promised to unveil a new jobs and deficit plan after lawmakers return to work in early September, but Republicans have already signaled they are cool to many aspects of his plans.
The president is seeking to kick start the US recovery, which he says has been slowed by “headwinds” including the Arab Spring, Japan’s tsunami tragedy and the European debt crisis.
A recent Gallup poll found that public approval for his economic management had dipped to 26 percent, a worrying sign for the president, 15 months out from the next election.