The White House was watching Warren Buffett this morning on CNBC.
In his Squawk Box appearance, Buffett repeatedly criticized both parties for trying to take advantage of the financial crisis to push for their own partisan goals. He recommended both sides concentrate only on reviving the economy, noting that he's heard some Democrats say a "crisis is a terrible thing to waste."
"In my view, it's an economic war, and--I don't think anybody on December 7th would have said a `war is a terrible thing to waste, and therefore we're going to try and ram through a whole bunch of things and--but we expect to--expect the other party to unite behind us on the--on the big problem.' It's just a mistake, I think, when you've got one overriding objective, to try and muddle it up with a bunch of other things."
While expressing his continuing support for President Obama, Buffett called on him to send a clearer and more authoritative message to the American people about the government's support for the financial system.
And he appeared to criticize a "cap and trade" system for reducing greenhouse gases, calling it a "regressive" tax that would be passed on to consumers.
At today's White House briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked to respond. He sees a lot of common ground between Buffett's views and those of the administration.