But I think that this is rather significant news:
Mitt Romney’s White House bid comes down to business experience – i.e. he has it, the president doesn’t.
To that end, the Romney campaign trotted out a roster of well-known business leaders Thursday who are backing the Republican presidential nominee. Supporters include Charles Schwab, Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers and Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot. The newest name on the list belongs to Intel CEO Paul Otellini, a member of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Mr. Otellini’s relationship with the president has been hot-and-cold since Mr. Obama took office. In 2010, he criticized the administration for failing to generate more robust job growth. He was particularly critical of the stimulus. But the Intel CEO joined the president’s so-called jobs council to much fanfare the following year as Mr. Obama embarked on a very public – if short-lived – courtship of big business.
The president lauded Intel for investing in the U.S. during a trip last year to one of the chipmaker’s advanced manufacturing facilities in Oregon. During the visit, Mr. Otellini announced plans to build a $5 billion production facility in Arizona that would employ thousands of workers in the U.S. The Intel chief also made two high-profile trips to the White House, including a state dinner with Chinese President Hu Jintao. But the jobs council has not held an official meeting since January – a fact Republicans like to highlight.
The Intel chief has called for lowering corporate tax rates and scrapping some tax loopholes – a priority shared by Messrs. Obama Romney – but he told Charlie Rose in 2010 that the administration was slow to embrace ideas offered up by the business community to spur job growth.
I’m sure that Otellini is going to get lambasted for having the temerity to speak out against the re-election of the president who appointed him to be a member of an exceedingly ineffective and incredibly indolent jobs council. But his stance gives credence to those who believe that this administration has simply not done enough to work closely and effectively with the business community in order to craft solutions to the economic problems that have plagued the country since the onset of the financial crisis. It also lends credence to Mitt Romney’s statement–repeated many a time during this election season–that while Barack Obama did not cause the financial crisis and the resulting recession, he sure didn’t do all that much to alleviate the effects of the resulting economic downturn.