Reports: Obama gets support from former Costco CEO

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama's re-election bid got a dose of support from the cofounder of one of the country's largest retailers, according to published reports.

Speaking at the Democratic National Convention, former Costco Wholesale CEO and cofounder Jim Sinegal said Obama "understands what the private sector needs to succeed," The Seattle Times quoted the co-founder of Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco as saying.

Sinegal, who cofounded the club retailer in 1983, retired as CEO of Costco on Jan. 1, 2012, replaced by Craig Jelinek. In January, investment research firm Morningstar named Sinegal as its "2011 CEO of the Year," citing his "exemplary corporate stewardship, independent thinking" and his having created "lasting value for shareholders."

The newspaper reported that Sinegal, a longtime donor and supporter of the Democrats, was part of an effort by the party to present itself as pro-business and challenge the reputation of the Republicans as being the party more favorable to business interests.