Image: Obama, Bill Clinton
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
President Obama said nothing to the gathered press while a cheery Clinton raved about the food when asked how the lunch went.
updated 9/14/2009 6:23:21 PM ET 2009-09-14T22:23:21

President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton met privately for about 90 minutes on Monday, discussing the global economy over a meal in Manhattan.

The two leaders emerged from Il Mulino, an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village, lingering long enough for photographs before Obama climbed back into his limousine. Obama said nothing to the gathered press while a cheery Clinton raved about the food when asked how the lunch went.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs later told reporters that the presidents spent most of their time talking about the economy, including the component of health care reform.

Gibbs said Obama values Clinton's advice and that the two have a "strong relationship."

Obama was in town for a speech in which he promoted his agenda for a financial regulatory overhaul and warned Wall Street against returning to practices he described as reckless.

Obama and Clinton last saw each other last week in New York. Both spoke at a memorial service for the late CBS anchor Walter Cronkite.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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