President Obama's Barbed Words Worry Corporate World

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Relations between President Barack Obama and U.S. corporate leaders have grown tense in recent weeks. Business groups are bristling over his sharp rebukes of lenders and multinational companies in particular.

They're troubled by his acid critiques of certain sectors, including large companies that keep some profits overseas to reduce their U.S. tax burden.

One lobbyist, Jade West of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, says it's "traditional class-warfare rhetoric" that she describes as "a little bit frightening."

And yesterday in New Mexico, the president rebuked the credit card industry for sharply raising interest rates or fees with hard-to-find notice. But he did temper his comments by saying that Americans must be responsible for the debt they incur.

The administration defends its record of outreach to business.

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