NJ gov spends Friday with family, not Obama

November 7, 2008 6:59:55 PM PST
When President-elect Barack Obama met with economic advisers in Chicago on Friday, one person was notably absent: New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine. Corzine has been hinted at as a possible choice for Treasury Secretary under Obama.

The governor, who is a former CEO of Wall Street investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, had been Obama's front man on the economy during the waning weeks of the presidential campaign. He appeared on "Meet the Press," "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart and other national news and entertainment programs.

On Friday, however, Corzine was in California to attend a family wedding and visit with his grandchildren.

Obama, meanwhile, was seeking counsel from investor Warren Buffett, former presidential Cabinet officials and industry leaders as he addresses the struggling economy.

Corzine appeared Friday night on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," where he discussed the nation's myriad of economic problems. Asked what could be done to help boost the economy before Obama is inaugurated in January, Corzine suggested using some of the government bailout money to help the nation's struggling auto industry.

He also warned of the fiscal problems facing the country's towns and cities.

"If we continue to stay in the economic slide we're in, we're going to see major layoffs, furloughs, cutbacks (in those areas)," Corzine said. "That would mean they would join the parade of organizations that are laying people off and increasing the public sector unemployment. We need something to move against that in the short run."

Olbermann also asked Corzine about speculation that he was being considered for Treasury secretary.

"I like my job and I love New Jersey," Corzine said. "I want to keep working on (the state's) problems.


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