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. Fowler

    Yeah right......what goes around comes around Hillary.

    You should be taken off life support immediately.

    March 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. TY BRYAN

    This is precisely why i can never vote for the Clintons (Yes they are both running). They are dishonest! I would not be so upset if they had even kept their big mouths shut instead of attacking Obama's credibility and character! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    March 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Gary in CT

    Why aren't there any stories about Seneator Clinton taking illegal contributions from Peter Paul?

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

    So it was Clinton's mess. I wonder if the press will play it up like they did to Obama? Or are they afraid now?

    March 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    Karma, What goes around comes around, doesn't it Hillary. Careful what you wish for because you and I know you don't have momentum but media hype.

    March 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Sabrina, Las Vegas, NV

    This is trully A Clintonish scandal!

    March 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Tim

    I was wondering how long the news media would take before it turned this in the Clinton campaign .The news media needs to confront Canada and find who did leak it instead of pointing the finger at people who didn't have anything to do with it .And if the Obama 's advisor was the one who had the discussion then quit dragging Clinton into it !!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Wers

    Two words! HOLY COW!

    Hypocrisy thy name is Hillary Clinton!

    March 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. norvef

    ha!!! i knew the Clintons has something to do with it.

    McCain 08

    March 6, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Eric

    It is fairly apparent that the Canadian leak was meant to be a hit piece on both Clinton and Obama, but our media got duped into covering it entirely as an Obama scandal. The US media was pretty clearly duped given what has been uncovered by the Canadian media, and hopefully the US mainstream media will take the necessary steps to correct themselves.

    March 6, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. mark musselman

    If the Clinton team is lying about this and it can be proven, their dream of holding elected office ever again is over.

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Patty Don't

    The 1 thing about this campaign that is predictable is that Hillary always accuses Barack of the thing she is guilty of immediatly before it comes out.

    I'm really starting to question her sanity. And how (or if) her mind actually works...

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Sharon

    Oh Geez: Barack: are you so boring you can't come up with something other than this? You just lost my vote. hee hee

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. charles

    For all the retards out there that are voting strictly because of looks-rockstar speeches- or race only. i have something to tell you, open your eyes and study the facts and you will see a liar. he says he wants change,What? he is gonna do something finally?????? Read his church bylaws and true beliefs and take a real look at his personal background to see if you would get change. He is a racist and crook and that cant be denied. I would vote for george bush again before i would vote for Obama-The Liar WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Suzanne

    Finally the truth comes out.

    This better be on the headline news tonight!

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Tara

    Wow, did Senator Clinton's campaign finally get caught in one of its lies?

    Unfairly attack your opponent for your own flaws... I seem to remember this strategy from somewhere....

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Yowserz!

    Wow, shouldn't this be FRONT PAGE NEWS?!?!!??

    Geez – the same old Clinton hypocrisy! Wow, now Hillary is calling the Canadians a bunch of liars!!!

    Hmmm, who to believe: Canada or the Clintons???

    Who has lied and lied in the past? Hmmm indeed.

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Jaycee Delaware

    Hillary dirty tricks.

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Grif

    She is: Nobody's Keeper. Neither is anyone her's.

    This is Hillary's LIfe storey, not Williams. Nobody is their spouse.

    either.

    When will some people, see Hillary Clinton as a single Entity?

    She stands on her own Merit! Thats her right in a free society.

    Grif

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Kevin, Louisville, Ky

    Who is sorry now......Who threw the mud first (tune to who let the dogs out)....clin. clin, clin, clinton!!

    Wow deny deny deny .............Jack Layton Canadian opposition is on Larry King tonight ..this should be fun...

    This is what is term as boomerang mud in High School!!

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Ephy

    Oh My God!

    This story alone is a compelling fact for Hillary to quit the presidential bid. Her tactics are strongly unbecoming to one running for president. Should she will to attack her rival, better use her head and moral values.

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Robert Holmen

    It is more than ironic that Clinton changed the momentum and perhaps the outcome of Ohio by blasting Obama for contacting the Canadian government with a "wink and a nod".

    Not only has that story been debunked, it now appears that it may have been someone in the Clinton campaign who made such a call.

    It will be very interesting to see how this story plays out and interesting to see how the press handles it especially after they accepted the Clintonian claim and piled on Obama over the weekend.

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Emmanuel OH

    You can lie all you want to Hillary. What was Bill doing in Canada a week before Canadian CTV ran this story? What is the story with Bill and his Canadian republican friends, and his rich Canadian billionaire mistress who just left the Canadian government?

    You've played on the intelligence of Ohioians for the last time by coming out with false reports about Obama when it was actually you because you guys MADE NAFTA, and now we have buyers remorse, though some of us deserve it because we voted racially against a black man.

    I worked my butts off for you but you won't get rid of me that easily. Heading down to philly with my daughter to campaign against you.

    The Clintons will never learn, like a leopard that can't change its skin. And you guys want to come back to the White House?

    Go home Bill and take you wife with you.

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Mike

    Typical rovian tactics, accuse your opponent of what you are going to do just to CYA!

    March 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Fred

    Well it looks like Ohio has been duped by Hillary. Shame on you!

    March 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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