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President Obama petitions the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: President Obama is talking with business leaders now, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. The White House and the Chamber have battled over health care and financial regulations, among other things. But today, the two sides are hoping to mend some fences.

BARACK OBAMA: Whatever differences we may have, I know that all of us share a deep, abiding belief in this country. A belief in our people, a belief in the principles that have made America’s economy the envy of the world.

The president just moments ago at the Chamber.

Jeanne Cummings is assistant managing editor for Politico. She’s with us live for some analysis from Washington this morning. Hi.

JEANNE CUMMINGS: Hi. Thank you for having me Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: Thank you. What’s the president saying to business leaders?

CUMMINGS: Well, what he’s saying is that he’s repeating much from the State of the Union, that some investments are needed through the government to help conditions for the business community. But he’s also saying the business community has got to be reasonable about regulations and taxes as well.

CHIOTAKIS: It’s almost like he’s going before Congress, you know? With the talking to republicans.

CUMMINGS: Absolutely. And if you look at, you know, what’s his mission there, I think it’s clearly two fold. He wants economic recovery, he can’t get that without businesses growing and cooperating. A hostile business community could be a problem with our recovery. So he’s trying to fix that. Secondly, he needs republican votes to get his agenda through. And he’s going to need the business community to help round up those votes.

CHIOTAKIS: So is all this happy talk working? I mean are business leaders buying into this?

CUMMINGS: There are, it’s having some effect. It is. Because it’s been followed up not just as rhetoric, but in the lame duck session when they pushed through certain reforms that were really sought after including the write off for businesses who expand and invest. That tax write off was something that this seems to be had as a top priority. And they got it, and it it’s not just rhetoric. They’re following through with policy. That’s really the only why they were going to buy these folks over and you know it’s baby steps but there’s a down payment on it.

CHIOTAKIS: Jeanne Cummings from Politico this morning. Thank you so much.

CUMMINGS: You’re welcome.

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