March 6th, 2008
02:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton campaign denies Canadian report on NAFTA comments

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton’s campaign is denying a Canadian report Thursday that suggests her campaign called representatives of that nation’s government to re-assure them that despite campaign rhetoric, they would not seek changes to NAFTA – an allegation they used against Barack Obama’s campaign in the days leading up to Tuesday’s critical primary votes.

"Unlike the Obama campaign, we can and do flatly deny this report and urge the Canadian government to reveal the name of anyone they think they heard from,” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said in a statement.

Shortly before the Ohio primary, the Canadian network CTV broadcast a report that Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee had told officials with the Canadian consulate in Chicago that the campaign would not look to alter the trade agreement, even though the Illinois senator had pledged to do so.

That report became a lightning rod on the campaign trail in Ohio, where NAFTA is deeply unpopular.

The Canadian government has said it is investigating the source of the leak. The Canadian Press reported Thursday that the comment that sparked the original story may have come from Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, Ian Brodie – and that his remark had implicated Clinton’s campaign, not Obama’s.

The Thursday story also said CTV’s Washington bureau had initially decided to report on Clinton. The New York senator was mentioned in the final report, but it focused on Obama’s aide.

The Canadian Press said government officials did not deny the conversation took place, but that Brodie denied discussing either candidate.

Earlier this week, the Obama campaign admitted Goolsbee and consulate officials had spoken, but not under the direction of the campaign, and said that a leaked Canadian government memo implying otherwise had mischaracterized the substance of the discussion.

On Monday, the Canadian Embassy in Washington issued a statement on the controversy that “there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA.”

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
soundoff (448 Responses)
  1. HG

    You know you are the one that smeared Obama, even the Prime Minister Stephen Harper called it false.

    March 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA


    It comes back to bite her, good, very good,

    and some people still believe her.

    God I love justice, feel stupid yet Ohio?

    March 6, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Maisie2008

    Caught red-handed. Plus Bill Clinton was in Canada just around the time of the leak and certainly had something with the Canadian conservative party trying to take down Obama using back-handed techniques.

    March 6, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Stavy

    HRC's 35 years of experience:

    1. Worked for a corporate law firm.
    2. Served on WalMart board and had no issues with the labor policies there.
    3. Formulated a disastrous health care plan that postponed universal coverage for years.
    4. Had tea with foreign leaders.
    5. Voted for the war
    6. Scandal after scandal. Why oh why?
    7. Within a couple of years managed to lose both the house and the senate due to vindictive and divisive politics

    Experience we can count on?

    March 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Ben from D.C.


    March 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Theresa

    Boy this is turning into a case of.... he said...she said....keep your stance Hillary.

    March 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Cathy

    Just words, just word...
    There is something really sneaky about this guy.

    March 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Patrick

    So when will Clinton's campaign apologize to the American people for lying about this issue and distorting what really happened? When will CNN and the rest of the MSM apologize to Senator Obama for running on what turned out to be an inaccurate memo?

    March 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Mike

    Hah. Hypocrites. That all I can say.

    March 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. dee

    Another lie by the Clinton.
    Anyone with half a brain can see right through this.
    Bill Clinton went to Canada a couple of days before this whole thing started.
    Now the Clintons are going to get caught in a lie.
    I guess they're going to accuse the Canadian government of being against them.Typical.
    It's not too hard to believe they would do such a thing then lie about it.
    How quickly we forget their past lies to the American public.

    March 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Ron, TX

    Hillary just got caught with egg all over her face... yet again...

    March 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Bee and Family

    How come, I am not surprised. It would havbe been nice to see this report come out before the primaries last Tuesday. It looks like there may be enough egg to go around.

    March 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Grant

    My goodness, this is HUGE headline news in Canada, why are we not asking these questions. They are saying it was Clinton not Obama and that her campaigns finger prints are all over this! The Canadian government is furious over this..very different view of this on the other side, Clinton is mud up there....

    March 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. dsw

    talk about calling the kettle black. . .

    March 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. lisa

    i know she was up to something miss double talk her self i know you ohio voters are turning in your sleep now, remember whose husband started this nafta thing lmaooooooooooooooooooooo

    March 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. js

    Hillary has disgusted me so much that if Obama doesn't win, I will vote for McCain…
    she will accomplished the same as hubby bill when he destroyed the party leading to gore's loss in 2000…and look what happened….
    I will just help hillary's goals along and just vote for mccain….
    she is an extremely evil, shallow, bitter, scorched earth socialist…..
    she is (or should be) irrelevant in 2008 if we are turning over a new leaf in this country……
    Do not underestimate how her blaming "activists", racial groups, pandering to others, telling bald-faced lies, distortions, exaggerations threaten to turn off the dem voters and independents energized and motivated by Obama….
    I am one of thos Obamacans registered as republican until bush II, now maybe going back……at least mccain is conservative in policy….doesn't promote socialism…..isn't win at all costs, even tearing apart washington and our country, like hillary promises to do….

    March 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Eli

    WELL NOW IT SEEMS THE cANADIAN GOVERNMENT IS COVERING FOR OBAMA, WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT. If Clinton had spoken with them they would not have gotten that mixed up. Obama first said no then turned around and said oh yes we did, but they misunderstood. Im going to have to believe Hillary on this is. SORRY

    March 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Jean

    Why is CNN not reporting this! This is what Hillary went by??SHAME SHAME SHAME ON YOU HILLARY!!

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Wednesday that the leak of a Canadian diplomatic memorandum about Senator Barack Obama’s position on Nafta was unfair to his campaign for the Democratic nomination and possibly illegal.

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. LENA

    Hypocracy, hypocracy

    My GOD. I will never vote for her.

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. frankie

    The Hillary campaign is so disgusting. How could anyone want that slime in office? From the muslim smear, to NAFTA-gate, to calling Obama "Ken Starr", I've had enough of this. If she's the nominee, I'm NOT voting for her. I'd rather vote for Nader before she gets my vote.

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. Smitty

    Looks like Hillary was giving the old 'wink wink' as well...

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Ty

    Alright!!...Lets continue digging...this is not gonna end here...someone has to come clean thats all I can say. While this is brewing...2006 Tax returns please...dont tell me she is busy

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. dsw

    Clinton should keep her nose clean before trying to hand someone else a tissue.

    Obama 08!

    She failed to win by huge margains in either state which she was ahead by 20+ point s af ew weeks back, but she still touts them as astounding victories. .. .

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Harvey

    after talking FOUR DAYS about Obama's advisor talking with the Canadians this report comes out....kind of like his response to the 3am ad

    March 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. TEXAS Gal for Obama !!

    Now the truth comes out...unfortunatetly too late for OHIO to make a good how about the truth about the emails stating Obama is a muslim and the the 2 Clinton campaigne people implecated..the Drudge report that it was a someone from the Clinton campaigne that sent them that picture of Obama...
    Lets' go for Obama...

    March 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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