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Steve Jobs: Obama's focus on excuses "infuriated" him

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and US President Barack Obama
Apple CEO Steve Jobs and President Obama Getty Images

UPDATED 11:40 a.m. ET

Steve Jobs told President Obama that he was "headed for a one-term presidency" if he did not adopt more business friendly policies, according to a biography of the legendary Apple CEO to be released Monday. He even offered his assistance to avoid that outcome.

Jobs met the president in in the fall of 2010 and later offered to help make political advertisements for his re-election campaign. The book, based on interviews with Jobs, says the Apple CEO hoped the ads would do for Mr. Obama what the famous "morning in America" ads did for Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide re-election victory over Walter Mondale.

"I think political advertising is terrible. I'd love to get Lee Clow out of retirement, and we can come up with great commercial for him," Jobs told Walter Isaacson, author the forthcoming biography "Steve Jobs." Clow is the ad executive partially responsible for Apple's famous 1984 advertisement launching the Macintosh.

Isaacson's book is being published by Simon & Schuster Inc, which is owned by CBS Corporation, the parent company of CBS News and obtained a copy of the book. Isaacson will appear on CBS' 60 Minutes Sunday to promote it.

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Jobs told Isaacson he was not impressed with the president after their meeting, in part because of Mr. Obama's focus on what is not possible, rather than what is possible.

"The president is very smart. But he kept explaining to us reasons why things can't get done," Jobs told Isaacson. "It infuriates me."

Jobs told Obama that American regulations make it more difficult for Apple to build its products cheaply in the United States compared to the cost of building them in China. Chinese health and safety standards are more lax than the United States.

Jobs almost missed the San Francisco meeting last year because he initially refused to attend unless the president himself invited Jobs.

Jobs also slammed the U.S. educational system as "crippled by union work rules." He proposed longer school days - until 6 p.m. - and a longer school year - 11 months.

The Apple founder's legendary attention to detail emerged as they planned the dinner, hosted by a small group of tech executives at a hotel near the San Francisco airport. Jobs did not want to serve a chocolate truffle cream pie for dessert, arguing that the meal was too fancy. The White House event planners overruled him and the cream pies, a favorite of Mr. Obama's, were served, according to the book.