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Obama, Clinton Have "Strong Relationship," Gibbs Says

Former President Bill Clinton often found himself in the headlines during the 2008 campaign for his comments about the candidacy of Barack Obama. Eight months into the Obama presidency, the two have huddled a handful of times now, most notably to discuss the situation in North Korea.

Today, the two presidents had lunch in New York City after Obama's speech on the state of the financial industry. The two split the check, press secretary Robert Gibbs said. But what was on their minds?

"He said most of the conversation was about the economy, particularly the global economy, and ways to transition where we are into something that works better for the American people in the 21st century," Gibbs told reporters on board Air Force One as they returned to Washington today. Health care did come up, but Obama didn't share the specifics with Gibbs, the spokesman said.

So how is their relationship? "I think President Obama values the type of advice that President Clinton has," Gibbs said. "I think you saw the economy in a lot of ways transform during his administration, not unlike what the economy has to do to meet the demands of the 21st century, to create good paying jobs. So I think they have a very strong relationship and I know the President is -- President Obama is always happy to talk with President Clinton and hear his thoughts."

Today's lunch came about after the two met at the White House last month on North Korea. Obama mentioned then that they should sit down together as soon as their schedules allowed to discuss a range of issues. Originally they planned to meet last week after both attended Walter Cronkite's funeral, but it was postponed once the president decided to speak to Congress that night.

The White House announced that Obama will speak at the Clinton Global Initiative conference taking place around the UN General Assembly next week.