March 6th, 2008
02:20 PM ET
2 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. doodle

    When are people going to see her for who she really is? She has misled the American people over and over again. Shame on you, Hillary Clinton, shame on you!

    Go O!!!!!!!

    Obama '08

    March 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. NYC, NY, New Yorker

    To,

    All Obamabots and Obamanauts. I my self an African American and friends, will not vote for Barrack Husesein Obama in the General Election. Along with my Clintonbots i going to vote Sen. McCain in general election if mr. Obama is the nominee. A guy that supported Louis Farrakhan state will never get my vote. If all you people want to call me Uncle Tom plz go ahead.

    March 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Eduard

    YOU MAY NOT LIKE THE NEWS COMING SOON: "OSAMA BIN LADEN IS SET TO ENDORSE OBAMA BIN HUSSEIN, HOW'S THAT?

    March 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Mike from Maine

    Hilary truly represents the worst that our political pool has to offer. It is this exact demonstration of poor character qualities and poor judgment and management skills that shows she has no reason running our country. Route this no good for nothing weasel out of our countries politics and Ohio and Texas, you have been dog %ucked by a lie from your girl and I feel sorry for you all.

    March 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Zeke

    My God! If She Somehow Steals The Nomination. I Will Be Voting For The Nad-Ster.

    March 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. peeet25

    HYPOCRITE,,,,
    WISH IF THAT CAME OUT BEFORE OHIO'S.
    Yes, we can.

    March 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Sam

    everybody talking about Hillary nobody talks about Obama do you think he is an angle or he is the good guy dont do anything wrong come on people open your eyes and ears listen carefully , the republican dont want Hillary to win so John McCain will be the president then we will stay in Iraq for other 100 years. Crazy People is this how much you hate your selfs

    March 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. james

    Comment: I agree with your calculations wholeheartedly. I do believe that the only way now for the democratic party to avoid a split is to have both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton. The problem is that Hillary has gone extremely too negative. I do believe Obama is a good person, but he is only human. This will make it hard for him to accept her on his ticket even being pressured by his party. With all that being said, i believe Hillary's camp understood for a while now that she wasn't going to win the nomination, so she went on attack before tuesday basically to show Obama that he would be wise to choose her to be his Vice-President. It was reported by Keith OLberman the night of the Texas primary that Obama had called Clinton during the day. I am willing to bet that the phone call was Obama basically telling her hewill put her on the ticket. This is why the day after the primary Hillary made her rounds on the talk shows and cable news shows and said that it is getting to the point where she and Obama will have to be on the "dream ticket". My prediction is that you will soon hear an announcement publicly as such. I repeat Hillary understands that because of Obama's delegate lead that she cannot catch him, so even if she won the nomination through superdelegates, she would lose the general election because of the backlash of Obama's supporters.

    March 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. LJ

    Hillary gets what Hillary wants through lying and cheating. She deceived Ohio and Texas by any and every dirty trick. How ya feeling now Ohio, brace yourself for more economic collapse. Hillary will be through again no doubt to hug more old ladies and lie to your face about helping your economy. Remember she promised 200,000 jobs to New York (lost 26,000) and said she wouldn't use her election to the NY Senate as a stepping stone to the Presidency. Look where you are now. Let the confetti fly!

    March 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. huh?

    who the heck knows what to believe now!

    March 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. robert

    clinton is good for lying, just like bill did.same old same old.
    obama in 08

    March 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. illinois voter for truth.

    PLEASE CNN DO NOT EVER SHOW HER FAT FACE ON
    ANY OF YOUR PROGRAMS AGAIN. YOU TALK ABOUT MAD
    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HATE HER GAMES AND HER
    GUTS.

    PLEASE JON STEWART DO NOT EVER EVER HAVE HER
    ON YOUR SHOW AGAIN. THAT WAS A STUPID THING TO
    DO ON THE NIGHT BEFORE THE PRIMARIES. YOU SHOULD
    HAVE CHECKED OUT HER LIES.

    PLEASE SNL, DO YOU WANT TO GO OFF THE AIR.

    Jack Nickelson, Barbra S. are you stupid are hanging with
    a bad croud? You really should recind your endorsements!!NOW

    OBAMA 2008

    March 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Roger

    Obama aide Goolesbee meets with the consulate on behalf of the Clinton campaign. Now I understand. Man I need a score card.

    March 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Ilene, Livonia MI

    Hey Ohio....can't seem to figure out a liar yet...can ya???? First Bush and now Hillary. I wish they would not let Ohio votes count. The state just can't tell a liar when they hear one.

    March 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. E.H

    wELL,WELL,WELL It seems barack hussian obama can dish it out but he can't take it. This is just a fraction of obamas dirt. but he won't get away with it. ALL OF HILLARY'S DIRT IS OUT. soooo NICE TRY but it's not going to work but wait till you hear the rest obama's dirt. Stay tuned for the best yet EVER!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. jonsid

    March 6, 2008 12:30 PM
    A storm of reports in the Canadian media say that the Nafta-gate flap last week involving Barack Obama was started by a key aide to Canada's prime minister – who told journalists that Hillary Clinton's campaign – not Obama's – had contacted the Canadian government to play down its Nafta-bashing.

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. PDC

    Boy oh boy, I can wait for the next president to get in there. No more lies, and no more cheating, and stealing your way to power...

    Yeah right.

    Criminal: The short definition of politician.

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Gary

    I hope this Clinton 'fraud' costs her big in PA and in the remaining primaries. A little redemption for the fine people of Ohio who got duped by her. I am sure this will not sit well with the DNC and the superdelegates when it comes to the Convention in Denver. McCain will eat her alive on this issue alone. Corruption and/or deceit doesnt sit well with Americans, when it comes to the BIG WHITE HOUSE on PENNSYLVANIA Avenue and the DNC know it.

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. JO OKLAHOMA

    BOY YOU PEOPLE ARE SO QUITE TO JUMP ON THE HILLARY TEAM. I GUESS IT WAS HILLARY'S TEAM THAT GOT OBAMA IN WITH REZKO AND NADHMI AVCHI. BUSINESS DEAL. PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK. CHECK OUT BEFORE YOU JUMP INTO WHAT YOU WRITE. SHOWS JUST HOW DUMB YOU PEOPLE ARE. YOUR HATE OVER RIDES YOU BRAIN.
    JO OKLAHOMA

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. t

    Eli,
    give it up, stop making excuses you campaign is worse than anything the republicans could muster.

    March 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. ml

    eh...........and how is that? Sudden change?

    "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."

    really? do you really want us to believe this?

    March 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Peter

    CNN your initial coverage of this is unacceptable. You should be ashamed to call yourselves journalists. You essentially influenced the outcome of an election on false reporting and blamed Sen. Obama. Wow, you guys are unbelievable.

    March 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Brenda Waters

    Of course we believe you..........................you have such a record of being squeaky clean as First Lady, with your side-kick of that time back at at your side!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Barack is a gentleman, but you ain't no Lady – should you play dirty enough to get the nomination – the Republicans will eat you up!

    'What goes round, comes round'

    Brenda Elizabeth Cowley-Waters

    March 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Enrique

    This is how Hillary operates. Now she's denying that this ever happened. Hillary spent most of the 90s denying lots of wrongdoings. Of course she's going to deny this report. I hope CNN makes this the story that it's supposed to be.

    March 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Kamangu

    Hillary,
    Again, Again and Again. She's caught.
    Impeachment this time. She has to go out.
    Who will say loudly SHAME ON YOU ..... to her.

    March 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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