Rahm to CEOs: Get on Board With Health Care
'We’re going to have to do big, serious things,' staff chief tells council
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2008 12:27 PM CST
Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama, peers through the stage light as he addresses a gathering of corporate CEOs at an economic conference in Washington, Nov. 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Rahm Emanuel has avoided the spotlight since accepting the White House chief of staff job, but he was anything but shy last night at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, challenging his high-powered audience to help on health care. “When it gets rough out there, a lot of business leaders get out of the car and say, ‘We’re OK with minor reform.’” he said. “We’re going to have to do big, serious things.”

Taking what the Journal describes as a "combative" tone, Emanuel said the middle class was being squeezed and would revolt if business leaders didn’t do something. He also promised that the administration would “throw long and deep” with a huge economic stimulus focused on “green infrastructure,” along with aggressive tax reform, financial re-regulation and a new energy policy. “Change cannot be allowed to die on the doorsteps of Washington,” he said.