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. Heather

    If the original story was spin by Clinton, why isn't this one just spin by Obama?
    Clinton challenged them to name their sources and as far as I can see they haven't, are we really meant to just believe this hearsay.

    To be honest I think the NAFTA thing was a non-story, it was his bungled handlng of it that was the story, it made him look like he was caught on the back foot and that made people think about what he might be hiding.

    March 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Terry F

    Why is this not on the TV CNN!!!!!! You blew the Obama thing out of all proportion. Now the truth is out you ignore it!! You are loosing any credibility as a news network.

    Tel

    March 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Andrew

    I have a friend in Canada, he said it was in their local paper wrote that Hillary said that "NAFTA was a political hot potatoe that can be worked."

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Concerned American

    Why did CNN bash Obama for this, yet no one in the MSM has picked up on this?

    March 6, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Alexandra

    SHAME ON YOU BILLARY!!
    OHIO AND TEXAS SERVES YOU RIGHT FOR FALLING FOR HER DIRTY TRICKS!
    GO OBAMA!!

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

    It took Hillary to nail down his rejection other than that he denoucncing . There is a big diffrenence between. BTW Clinton said she will release here tax info will be April 15. She is not hiding anything.

    Clinton/Powell 08

    Yes She Will

    March 6, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Peggy

    KARMA. Clinton has NO morals and is geniunly not a good person. Why would I want that as president?!?!

    March 6, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. SONA

    March 6th, 2008 2:00 pm ET

    WHO besides the Obama people care about Hillary's tax returns! BARRACK get back to the campaign and give us specifics on how YOU propose to fix America!

    BARRACK – how are you going to bring the republicans to the table to give us their gains under 8 years of George and Company?

    BARRACK – how are you going to balance the BUDGET?

    BARRACK – how are you going to get the ECONOMY moving?

    BARRACK – how are you going to add American JOBS?

    BARRACK – TELL us what YOU are going to DO!

    WE DON'T CARE HOW MUCH MONEY HILLARY PAID TO THE IRS! I DON'T EVEN CARE HOW MUCH YOU PAID TO THE IRS BARRACK!

    I WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU propose to get the RICH to pay their "FAIR SHARE" of our country's "BILLS"

    ANSWERS BARRACK – OR GO BACK HOME!

    VOTE HILLARY CLINTON

    March 6, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Christi in Canada

    The Canadian conservative government is most scared of Obama. That's why they didn't clarify it that it was Clinton until now. Don't be fooled – the Canadian government is very slick and they run a tight ship. They know when to "leak" things.

    No one, journalists especially, asked the tough question "WHY IS THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT INTERFERRING IN US ELECTIONS?". Let me tell you – as a Canadian – Obama is planning to reduce Greenhouse gases to 80% less than 1990 levels. The Canadian government refuses to cap greenhouse gases – they are global warming deniers. Its not only NAFTA.

    Obama is more feared because he will make the most changes.

    March 6, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Dawn

    Hillary and Bill Clinton can't be trusted. They will do anything to win this campaign. Please people, support the only honest candidate that we've had in years. Vote Barack Obama!

    March 6, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. HH

    Too late, Ohioan have been fooled already.

    March 6, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. BJ

    So now CNN knows the truth, wow! Why didn't you check the source before you went and lied on Sen. Obama? I will not watch your channel anymore. I am tired of lies!

    March 6, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. Vincent

    WHY ISN'T THIS A BIGGER HEADLINE?????????????????????

    HILLARY LIED!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. RAN

    Candy Crowley... I look forward to your continued reporting on this aspect of NAFTA-gate... you sure pushed your "scoop" on March 3rd and 4th.

    March 6, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Broderick [UK]

    Why are the Clinton often turning the direction the wind blows? I think Bill knows, his reputation has now suffered irrepairable damage. Especially among blacks, that ones called him their own.

    He's coming out from being an "attack dog" for his wife and power at all cost, to look very extreme.

    March 6, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. citizen_c

    Obama 08

    March 6, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. JerryZ

    She did it and they know it. Obama and the news media should keep on this. Most people know she is evil and will do anything to win. She and Bill need to keep making money off working Americans with NAFTA. I'm surprise people are so blind what the Clintons did with the Canadian guy, giving them 131 million dollars. It was illegal and they covered it up.

    Also The wisdom of the DNC will let Hillary and Obama slug and bloody each other. Obama has the pledge delegate lead.
    When the DNC super-delegates overturn the pledge delegates for Hillary or run to Obama side, one side will not vote, may vote for Nader or McCain.

    You fools are falling into the conservative republicans plans. If they overrule Obama, 90% of the black vote will be gone and all of the first time and young voters will join.
    If jumping to Obama, over sixty years old and women will protest. I don't want to miss the uneducated that Hillary always says she gets. They don't know better.

    March 6, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. Wes

    Riiiiiiiiight Hillary...

    March 6, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. JC

    We CAN NOT TRUST Hillary. She will lie and spin to win. She is a Hypocrite.

    March 6, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Kathy

    How is this not a front page story?!?!?!?!

    March 6, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. inder

    Shame on you cnn for not reporting this piece of news on TV.

    March 6, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Artin, Los Angeles, CA

    WHY isn't this on the front page and WHY isn't this being reported on TV right now???????

    The media absolutely KILLED Obama with this story when it came out and now that it's been shown that the Clinton's were the ones that actually went to the Canadian government, we hear nothing!

    Yes there is a media bias, but it's a pro Clinton bias. Maybe SNL can do a show on that this Saturday...

    March 6, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. Polly

    wAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, and the people of OHIO believed her, i knew it, she was behind this one too,
    I hope people will wake up and I hope the Canadian Goverment issues the results of their investigation which I know they will show it was CLINTON who called and it was her campaign who actually said what they said, this is beyond belief,
    it will come back big time big time to hunt and hurt her campaign,

    YES We Can,

    Obama supporters lets keep this not just real, but honest and full of integrity no matter what because this is is one of the most important differences between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton
    Senator Obama has honesty and integrity
    Senator Clinton has none of that,

    March 6, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. Paul, Northern Ireland, UK

    I cannot believe that people actually vote for that woman. Are people really that stupid?! I'm from the UK, and have been glued to this democratic race (and watching McCain when I couldn't sleep, which put me out like a light). Clinton is sneaky, snide, sleeked, insincere, vindictive, and power-hungry. She would sell her own grandmother, just to win. She really must have a big problem with insecurity, given how she tells blatant lies about Obama, then goes out of her way to be publicly offended when she gets a taste of her own medicine (re: "Shame on you, Barack Obama!")! After everything low-down and nasty she has said about Obama, along with the fear politics strategy she has adopted recently, I was shocked that people were still voting for her. She appears to be very good at covering things up and making the public forget how nasty and underhanded she can be, but surely, SURELY you people who support her can see through her? I wouldn't want someone with her character and attitude running MY country, and I'm astounded that so many of you Americans want a person of such ill repute to run yours!

    Obama is, by a country mile, the best candidate, and on so many levels. If you're smart, you'll vote for him.

    March 6, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. Pat M Canada

    Obama already fell off the High Road !
    Obama radio ad targets Clinton’s Mississippi comments

    Not that he was ever on it....
    Were any of the front runners?

    March 6, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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