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GE CEO Immelt to ABC News: 'People Get to Think What They Think'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- News that General Electric made $14 billion in profits in 2010 but paid zero in federal taxes has led to liberal leaders like former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., and MoveOn to call for President Obama to show the door to GE CEO Jeff Immelt, the chairman of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Immelt was even roasted on late-night comedy programs like the Daily Show.

The criticism has also been intense with labor leaders arguing that under Immelt, GE has shed jobs and expanded outsourcing.

ABC News' Jake Tapper spoke with Immelt in Washington, D.C., Thursday and asked him about the criticism.

TAPPER:  Since you became CEO, GE has shed jobs and a lot of jobs have gone overseas…

IMMELT: Jake it’s really not true. In other words, we’ve sold half the company since I’ve been CEO.  If you take that out, our job growth is up and if you look at our core infrastructure and technology it’s up 30% and if you look at what we’ve  done post-crisis, we’ve added 6,500 manufacturing jobs and so I just think you have to get in the second layer of the analysis.

TAPPER: What do you make of the criticism of the people who say you should step down, you’re not a good role model for the business community?

IMMELT: Look, I am completely committed to doing a good job, working with the president and I’m completely focused in that regard on building jobs and competitiveness in the U.S. and I will do my best to do a good job with it. People get to think what they think.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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