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. catmom

    You Obama fan will grasp at any straw won't you !! You all keep repeating rumors and innuendos fro 20 years ago that have been probed and investigated for a minimum of 8 years and 80 million of our tax dollars for what, nothing. How about focusing on the issues. None of this crap means a thing.

    March 6, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. LENA


    hillary is all lieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

    March 6, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. sharon dunbar

    can't people see through this media and clinton thing....... clinton started off dirty the news said it wasn't good for her so she starts with the make nice,then they say she should show her soft side so she starts the crying act, then they say she should use the i'm a fighter and bammmmmm now she's labeled the fighter..... what a suck up!! how phoney... wake up people... let's see her taxes and records from her white years.... she needs to go back to not standing by her man.. oh by the ways where is her man and why won't they be seen together at her rallies....

    March 6, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. MAR

    Once again, I hold the press partially responsible for perpetuating lies. Simply because the Clintons make a statement does not make the statement true. It is the job of the press to conduct a "truth squad" to determine the validity of the statement. You failed. I suspect votes were cast, in part, based on the false statement of the Clintons. Exactly how many votes, only by conducting a survey of actual voters will we know. In other words, check with the source to get to the truth.

    March 6, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Steve

    So the guy writing the initial story makes a mistake in crediting the statement to the Obama camp, the news channels here in the U.S. pick up on it and run with it, making Obama look like a two-faced liar and quite possibly costing him votes in the Ohio primary (which he most likely wouldn't have won but could've lost by less of a margin). Nobody actually catches the mistake until four or five days after the fact.

    Fantastic. Shoddy journalism all around. I would say the media should be ashamed of themselves but they're not. After all, longer primary season means more ratings.

    March 6, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. JC

    Deny deny deny (the Clinton mantra) You can deny the truth all you want Hilary but we all know what you don't appear to understand: No one likes a liar!

    March 6, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Independents for obama

    CNN you should make this a headline in your news not just here on blogs. Expose Hillary's lies.


    March 6, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. sharon dunbar

    oh by the way i wouldn't vote for her ..... if she wins i will vote for mccain .... and the rep party knows this... once again wake up people... she won't win ...... she is like bill slick willy

    March 6, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. inder

    Clinton News Network CNN didnot report this piece of news on TV

    March 6, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. Jim ( Independent )

    SO she duped the Americam people AGAIN..........No surprises here.The Clintons do one thing better then anyone else "Scandal".

    I bet this torks the OHIO Voters.

    March 6, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. CW in DC

    OMG!!! Clinton supporters cannot possible be this delusional?!?! It's unreal!!!!

    This has to be the greatest irony ever existing in the history of the US. And they say Obama supporters are blind. My goodness!!!

    March 6, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Yolanda

    Kudos, Jared. I totally agree with you.

    March 6, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. LENA

    lies lies lies = hillary 08

    March 6, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Antonio Hussein Jeffery

    OK so I have seen several Clintonites on this post saying this is typical Obama, what? Did I miss somthing, or is it that every time your candidate screws up you point the finger at Barack? How is this monumental blunder his fault? This isn't some poorly worded memo, these are statements that came from the right hand man of the Canadian prime minister, and not only that but he said it in front of countless witnesses! So please clarify for me how this is in any way Barack's doing? I mean logic would dictate that maybe you should start pointing the finger for these gaffs back in your own direction.

    March 6, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. don from Canada

    Americans who are tuning in to Canadian news and seeing Prime Minister Harper saying that there will be an investigation into this leak: DO NOT BE FOOLED!!! Harper is exactly like Bush and will say what people want to hear and use heavy handed politics to portray his government as looking honest and fair which is the farthest thing from the truth. He will apoint people from his own government or circle of friends to investigate this matter and falsely portray his cabinet as innocent in this matter. I said before, it would not suprise me if Harpers right hand man released this false report helping Clinton to a must win super Tuesday, because polls show Clinton cannot beat McCain but Obama can. Harper loves Bush and up here in Canada he is labelled as Bush Jr.

    March 6, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Deborah

    God he can't even come up with an original SMEAR, he has to COPY with a false report instead of a true one. He admited a meeting took place between his campaign and the consulate. By contrast, Sen Clinton has asked for the NAME of the person who was supposedly representing her campaign since she never authorized or said anything of the sort. After hacking into a media event conference call, I wouldn't put it past the OBAMA folks to call the Canadians and claim to be from the Clinton campaign. In order to set up a COPY CAT smear.

    March 6, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. LENA

    shame on YOU, mrs hillary LIES clinton

    March 6, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Wilma, in Georgia

    words -words- just words !
    Just Like :
    turds– turds– are just turds !


    March 6, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. Breka

    Ohio you got played by Hillary camp. Bill Clinton was in Canada during that week.

    March 6, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. kg

    Please consider this post, I have always been put awaiting moderation and have no idea why!

    Just another misstep by the Clinton Campaign. She just lies then denies then smiles, then it repeats in a vicious circle. Then she tells us all what a fighter she is as if the make up for the fact that she has lied. I was once an admirer. I can't believe that I was so wrong.

    She is setting womens right back 20 years by reinforcing all the stereotypes that men have about women.

    Lord help us all!

    March 6, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. B. Smart

    , , ,Clinton is a con Artist extraordinaire. Like an illusive destructive Tornado,
    you don't know what damaged she's caused until you wake up and look
    our of the window. She's long gone by then.

    March 6, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. Mike, Arkansas

    Told you all when it happened it was all a lie... she is good at coming up with lies.. I am from Arkansas where the great lady used to be the lady.. and tell ya what she hasnt changed a bit except getting better and better at coming up with the lies.

    I feel if she keeps it up she should be charged with slander and deception.. because she is using information which she either came up with or did not research before accusing someone of it and using it to her advantage. That should be against the law?

    March 6, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. Lynn from Virginia

    Jared suggests that better educated people are only voting for Obama. Guess that leaves only poor, uneducated, trailer trash voting for Hillary. Since I'm a highly educated/ married/ mother living in a nice home and supporting Hillary, are you suggesting that I am an alien (Mars, not Mexico)? CNN – why is your "best political team on TV" only supporting Obama and ripping Hillary at every chance, like that unsupported insinuation that it was Clinton's campaign that met with the Canadian government not Obama's (despite documents to the contrary? Are you trying to inflame the people? Why?

    March 6, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Krishna & Ranga

    It is regrettable that Canadian officials should first inject themselves in the
    Demecratic Presidential campaign -first by contacting (If as reported by media/press is correct)) Obama campaign adviser and now further trying to muddy it further as seen in this CNN blog..

    March 6, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Paul





    March 6, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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