President Obama's new big business sidekick Jeff Immelt of General Electric is still a businessman at heart; earning money to make a military fighter jet engine that Mr. Obama would like to see go away.
Funding for the development of the Joint Strike Fighter's alternate engine has fallen into a loophole of sorts. Money for GE to produce it continues to flow from a temporary government funding resolution that is set to expire March 4.
The engine has been deemed an unnecessary waste of money administration-wide and garnered a veto threat, but that hasn't stopped GE from lobbying to continue its production; a venture that could be worth billions to the global company.
Immelt has been a key link between the Obama adminstration and private industry. On Friday, the president tapped Immelt to lead an advisory panel focused on creating jobs.
On this issue, however, the two do not agree.
"Look, the Secretary of Defense, the President have made the point that this is not something that we need," Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One just before the president appeared alongside Immelt at a GE plant in Schenectady. "I think whenever the military tells you that something that -- the military is spending money on something the military doesn't need, especially in these times, it's important that we pay heed to that."