President Barack Obama declared himself to be one of Boeing’s top salesman, and asked the company’s CEO to award him a gold medal.
“I expect a gold watch from Boeing at the end of my presidency because I know I’m on the list of top salesmen at Boeing,” he told numerous business leaders at a meeting of his CEO-heavy Export Council.
Obama’s tone was joking, but he’s made the claim before.
In 2011, for example, he congratulated his appointees when Boeing announced that it has won a $21 billion deal to sell jetliners to a commercial airline in Indonesia.
“The U.S. administration and the [federa] Ex-Im Bank, in particular, were critical in facilitating this deal. … I want to thank all of the administration officials who were dogged in trying to get this completed,” he said, in a statement from the island of Bali that downplayed the role played by Boeing’s executives and workers.
The remark was reminiscent of Obama’s claim in July 2012 that successes by executives and workers have to be credited to government.
“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” Obama declared in a Virginia speech, while also urging tax increases and a larger role for government.
Obama’s government-focused statement reflects his progressive ideology, which sees government experts as the senior partner in enforced collaborations between government, companies and non-profits.
He highlighted that view Sept. 19, telling the CEOs that the export council is needed to offset government-corporate collaboration in Europe.
“Our competitors [in Europe] have a very tight, very aggressive, very well coordinated effort to make sales around the world,” he said.
In the United States, the administration has changed visa policies to aid companies that benefit from tourism, such as Disney, he said.
“A lot of the details about how we can do that were generated initially from these [Export Council] efforts,” he said, before adding a compliment to his deputies and the CEOs — including Disney’s CEO — on the council.
“I use this to say this is not a bunch of show-horses here, these are work-horses,” Obama generously declared.