Friday, July 02, 2010

Immelt Talks, White House Goes Ballistic; Warning to Bucyrus

Below we mentioned that Jeff Immelt expressed some unhappiness with the Administration.

Didn't take long for the Rahm-A-Jamma crowd to call.

And it seems that they said something like "Nice businesses you have there, Jeff. Wouldn't want anything to happen to them, would you?"

..."They [the Obama Administration] weren't happy, and wanted to know why a GE official would be making those comments," said the lobbyist. "The underlying message was that GE has dealings with the federal government. It wasn't a threat, but these folks are from Chicago."

Within hours GE released an official statement saying Immelt's comments didn't reflect the company's views.

..."It's fairly common with this crowd," says another lobbyist, who is employed by a Fortune 50 company in Washington. "The second my boss says something that could be interpreted as anti-Obama administration, we get phone calls. They are very thin skinned. Add to that the fact that they just hate the business community, and you have a tense relationship."

Meantime, the CEO of Bucyrus is off to Washington.

...Sullivan said he's planning a trip to Washington, D.C. to join manufacturing groups and various lawmakers to discuss potential changes to the Ex-Im Bank.

"It's now about politics," Sullivan said of the original decision. "I think what's happened here is some of the agenda at the Ex-Im Bank has slid more into a political agenda instead of strictly a business agenda. "We've got to rebalance what we're supposed to be trying to do at the Ex-Im Bank."

Careful what you say, Tim.

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