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. Barb Canada

    So according to everything I have read in all the newspapers... here is the conclusion. Unless Obama tapped into another conference call of Clintons.... there is no way they could have both said the exact same quote.........Obviously Brodie got mixed up in the names....One thing for sure is that the Canadian government has lied about having any knowledge!

    March 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Obama Supporters.....

    Even Obama's camp came out with a statement that 'that is not what was said' – so what is this now?????????? Obama being the same old boys dirty politics.....anyone who believes he is representative of change is dumb, stupid and naive!

    March 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. TX Richardson

    I admire O fans so much that they can 'create' any news they want. On NAFTA issue, Obama is a shameless liar. He lost big on this issue, it cost him the votes in OH, and TX. Now this liar wants to backfire at Clinton using some false news? Get a life Obama fans! We can see through it, 1.5 million people in TX and 1 million people in OH already lost their trust on you – Barack Husseion Obama.
    LOL... I bet cnn won't post this....

    March 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Hey Clintonites,

    you're not posting much here are you, you HYPOCRITES.
    Do you have to sell your soul to protect Hillary? DO YOU?


    Can't fight fair can you?
    Its OK, your day is coming, mark my word, its coming.


    You're no better than Bush supporters, you know that crazy 30% that worships his heighness.



    March 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    How come the majority of Clinton bloggers on here are female?

    March 6, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA



    never heard that one before, ha ha

    you MORON

    March 6, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Mad in Texas

    How in the hell can anyone say they believe OBAMA is a good man. With being surrounded by the Kennedys and Rezkos and now his remarks to Canada what more does it take for you people. Get real you are dealing with a lieing, gangster, sneak. HILLARY ALL THE WAY 08

    March 6, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Bayou Joe

    Twist and Turn, Twist and Turn, You lied no you lied. Ok you got me we both lied. But you lied first. No you did. Stop it Obama you are killing me. My hope just turned into despair. Whoa stop the stagecoach I am getting off.

    March 6, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. sam

    Sen. Obama’s decision to go explicitly negative suggests that he is unable to make an affirmative case for his candidacy beyond ad hominem attacks. Why isn’t he discussing the hearings that he held on the Foreign Affairs subcommittee that he chairs? Why isn’t he talking about his travel through Latin America? Why isn’t he briefing the public on his comprehensive plan to address the foreclosure crisis now? Why isn’t he stumping on his universal plan health care plan? Because he can’t and so he is advancing a campaign strategy premised on process and personal attacks.

    March 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Sandra D

    Hillary supporters are so amazing, how can you support someone who is so vindictive and so manipulative?. This article makes it obvious that she is a liar and would go to any length to win.
    I read these comments and I feel sorry for America because unbelievable as it seems there are so many bigots still alive and kicking in this great country.
    People, it is a different world, bigotry gets you the defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan that Bush got.
    Eduard, you are stuck in the stone age. I wonder why they posted your comment....

    March 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. AJ / North Carolina

    This ad is a such a lie... totally has Obama's name written all over it. I agree with Clare, he is a coward!

    Obama is just jealous that Clinton has made her comeback – NEVER lost my support.


    March 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. gr

    Some folks seem to imply that the Obama campaign is behind this story. It doesn't seem that way to me, seems like the CTV reporter got it wrong, then the Canadians have been fighting about it in parliament. Not sure where you see an Obama hand...if anything I wonder why the first reporter got his facts wrong.

    March 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Steve in Albuquerque, NM

    Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire.

    March 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. Amy

    Once again we see what a liar Hillary is. Let's see if it gets as much coverage as Obama did. My guess is no. The media wants Hillary.

    March 6, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Sick and tired, GA

    I am so sick and tired of Billary and their antics. Senator Obama has definately inspired many and can definately make changes in this country as president. If through some strange turn of events Billary gets the nomination I'm voting independent or for McCain. We don't need Hillary or Bill back in the white house. Who wants to go back the lies and dirty politics? It's time for a change. Why are people coming out in record breaking numbers? Because we want Obama. Too bad the folks in Ohio fell for an okee-doke and voted for Hillary. This holds true for those in Texas who fell for the phone call ad. LET'S OPEN OUR EYES PEOPLE! VOTE SMART PA!!!

    March 6, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. Bayou Joe

    CNN have you checked with the Mexican President if they approached his government. If they didn't, that is discrimination. Do we treat our White Northern friends better than our friends from the South? Just wondering. The Democratic candidates need to cater to us Hispanics, we control the race if we decide to vote.

    March 6, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. lol x 2

    Again, Obama did not lose. Clinton made up a whopping 9 delegates on Tuesday. Obama won more on net than that from Iowa alone.

    Stop with the spin already. Hillary's campagin is incredibly deceitful. She spends months being negative, then when she gets egg on her face it's Obama who's the bad guy for pointing it out? Please.

    Hillary supporters are ignorant, plain and simple. There's a reason why the demographics are the way they are.

    March 6, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Broderick

    God. It is not only Hillary that is looking very stupid now, so is the Canadian Government. The Canadian Gov't has let itself to be used by a single individual for political gains.

    In the UK, the proceed of crime is often confiscated. Why cann't Hillary lose the 12 delegates or so she gained, as per the lies.

    March 6, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. GGamma

    Looks like CTV didn't know what they were doing!...ludicrous

    March 6, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Serge from Miami

    I can only say that Hillary and her crew are pure evil.
    Lies, hippocrisy, corporate greed, double-dealing and mud-slinging.
    How can anyone, after watching her campaign tactics, support her?

    Just her body language and expressions... I mean LOOK at her!
    She is dizzy with the prospect of power.

    By contrast, look and LISTEN to Obama. Calm, thoughtful, with a revealing grasp of the now and plan for the future. If you doubt that, just look at his family life!

    By contrast, look at Hillary's.

    I can only hope that there are enough people out there that will make the right decision in November.

    OBAMA for the hope of America '08

    March 6, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. Kate

    CNN how about investigating the news from Canada that Hillary Clinton's campaign is involved in the Nafta discussion with the Canadian'sand not Obama's ?

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Ben

    Hillary is an old bitter woman who thinks being president for the US is her birthright.

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. Bullfale

    CNN, Fox news, and rest should apologias to the Obama campaign.

    March 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. NYC, NY, New Yorker

    Ron, Las Vegas March 6th, 2008 5:30 pm ET

    Again miss information. NYC, NY, New Yorker how do you say that Obama supports Farrakhan when he has denounced and rejected him? Also, your use of names shows your ignorance.

    March 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  25. AV

    Do something for the country, Hillary, and GIVE UP!

    You could have spared us all months of back-biting and nail-biting and tiring, exhausting, campaigning, not to mention waste of huge amounts of money. Can't you see the way things were flowing? You're not meant to win this campaign! Bow out now and help the country instead of trying to do nothing but help yourself!

    March 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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