Bloomberg News

Valerie Jarrett Says Obama Will Work With Business on Tax Reform

September 04, 2012

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said that the president will work with the business community to overhaul the tax code in his second term.

“Let’s broaden the base, let’s reduce the rate,” Jarrett said at a Bloomberg breakfast at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. “That means we are going to close some loopholes, but that’s going to benefit the broader business community.”

“The long term sustainable growth rests with the private sector,” she said. “The president knows that.”

Jarrett spoke about a range of issues Obama has dealt with, as well as his re-election campaign. She acknowledged the president’s frustration with Republicans, while insisting that he will continue to try work with them.

“He’s never going to give up on that,” she said. “It’s what the American people expect of their president.”

“We’ve had four tough years,” she said, citing comments made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that denying Obama a second term was his single most important goal. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, made the comment in 2010.

“It’s been difficult to get Republicans to the table,” Jarrett.

Asked to list her regrets in the first term, she said Obama and his team should have “spent more time outside of Washington in that first year.”

Jarrett said a better job of energizing Democrats nationally would have helped the party avoid its losses in the 2010 congressional elections, which included Republicans taking control of the House.

Obama “didn’t appreciate early on how important it was to tell” his side of the story, she said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at hnichols2@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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