Lee accompanied President Obama to General Motors Co.'s Orion Lake plant where the Chevrolet subcompact Sonic is produced Friday, touting the benefits of the U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement.
Detroit is battling the Texas Rangers for the American League Championship and the right to play in the World Series. Texas leads the best-of-seven series 3 games to 2.
"As you can see, President Lee is a pretty good politician," Obama said. "He knows how to get on your good side."
Earlier, Obama brought up football, saying he hoped the enthusiasm that greeted him and Lee was for the trade agreement, "but I suspect it might have something to do with your [Detroit] Lions beating up on my [Chicago] Bears" 24-13 Sunday.
"Not to mention your Tigers hanging in there last night," he said of the club's 7-5 win over the Rangers.