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. mehrnoosh

    I really feel sorry for Clinton's campaign . They just created this issue to turn off Obama supporters, but soon people will find out the truth.

    Obama 08

    March 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. AJ, IL

    I keep saying it over and over again but Hillary-supporters don't get it. When your personal life and political life is based on power grabbing, deceit, and untruthfulness, you can't simply expect to change this life when you run for president.

    What a tangled-web we weave once we practice to deceive! SHAME ON YOU HILLARY!

    March 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Pro Pundit

    Ah..I knew it...now Clinton's vile plot of trying to paint Obama as a "double-speaker" is starting to backfire on her. But this begs the question: WHY DIDN'T THE MEDIA COVER THIS STORY ACCURATELY, PRIOR TO THE MARCH 4 PRIMARIES?!?!

    March 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Pro Pundit

    Keep 'em (Clinton's campaign) honest, CNN!

    March 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Grif

    Don't worry about it Hillary. Just dirty tactics..

    All of a sudden, after your blog of a 3 million donation, he comes out with 53 million for a whole month...

    Anything he does. You don't need.. Honest is what counts.

    Dreaming is his: Honesty. Illusions...............

    March 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Joshua College Station Texas

    it just tears me up that Clinton benefited from such two-faced dishonesty, and that voters fell for it...what a terribly sad thing...

    March 6, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Chuck in Oregon

    You now this is kind of ironic in the sense that my roomie (a female) stated that when this initially came out that Hillary could possibly be behind this whole mess. I said that there was no way she could pull something like that off, it would cost her too much in the long run. And now look what the Canadian Government is saying. Talking about being intuitive.

    March 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. NOT AGAIN

    I gues going negative has turned for the positive for Obama. Your reap what you sow. Hillary will now have to answer about some questions as well.

    March 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Marie

    I told you before Bill have a lot of friends in canadian govt. Shame on you Harper...

    March 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. vanchava

    Hillary is a HYPOCRITE. She slams Obama and does the same thing. WOW. THIS WILL DEFINITELY HURT COMING UP TO PENN.

    March 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. Deesein your face

    I did not have sexual relations with NAFTA. LOL.

    March 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Belle

    Good...then he does NOT need to get another 3.5 Million dollar loan from Fintrade Services, a Panamanian company, that loaned his campaign the said amount in May 2005.

    Fintrade Services is Linked VIA Ibtisam Auchi, Mr. Nadhmi Auchi's wife...who IS the Iraqi-British Billionaire that landed Mr. Obama's former fundraiser behind bars.

    Obama can make the argument that a "loan" from a foreign company does NOT break the Federal Election Campaign Act....BUT "spending" the money does!

    Mr. White shirt can do no wrong Obama...he claims Clinton is the Old way of doing things in Washington....how can he really be for change?

    March 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. NavySailor

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This makes Clinton look extremely bad. I wonder how the people of Ohio are going to take this?

    March 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Anette

    Ha!

    How quickly the table turns. Let's see the "Helleries" get out of this one. Dirty, Dirty, Dirty!

    Okay, Ohio = Pennsylvania, similar Demographics?? You say. Let's hope that our Eastern neighbors have more sense then to support Hilliary, then my easily swayed, last minute deciding, flip-flopping neighbors here in Ohio. I'm so disappointed. Sad to call myself a Buckeye!!!

    Obama 08'

    March 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Pia NJ

    Incredible! I have read many articles today about this and they seem to be factual.
    Hillary, once again ,deny, deny, deny. Lie, lie, lie... Do you ever tell the truth? You are trying to ruin a good and decent person for your own selfish agenda and it will all come back to hit you in the face one day.
    You are not presidential material and never will be. Bill was, but not you.
    Obama for President!

    March 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Ricardo

    Typical hypocrisy from the team that invented lies and deception. The American people deserve better! Even Carl Rove will be amazed

    March 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. Flem

    She's lying.

    March 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. Independent American

    hillary campaign is using cheap political tactics

    March 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Lydia

    dirty, dirty, dirty

    March 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. GREG KLINE

    The timing, the falseness, the damage. And Clinton knew if anyone was guilty here, it was she. Is there any other sickening thing that Hillary wants to orchestrate? Can we please vote her down for the count, before she gives us all cancer?

    March 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. gdouglas

    As a Canadian it might be a good idea to open hope the free trade agreement. We can get a better deal for Canadians. America seems to be going nowhere fast and if you guys are smart and use your brain vote for the person who can lead your country to good economic times the way her husband did VOTE CLINTON.

    March 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. al

    This NAFTA issue will come to haunt Hillary. She is so twisted but time will tell.

    March 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. Phill Edou

    NO more dirty politics Clinton camp. It s enough!!!

    March 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Pete

    "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,”

    Obama doesn't even need to deny it, since the canadians do it for him:

    “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.”

    This whole story is a joke, and sadly it played an important role.

    March 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    oh wow! typical. This woman needs to be stopped

    March 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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