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. Debra Austin, Texas

    What goes around comes around. She'll get hers and it won't be pretty.

    March 6, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Steven

    WOW!!

    This should be on the front page CNN!!

    Clinton exposed in HYPOCRISY!!!! LIAR!

    What about the same coverage you guys gave Obama for this, huh CNN?!!? Fair is fair!

    Clinton has been exposed again as a LIAR!!

    March 6, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Tony (Independent)

    WOW After the election the TRUE story comes out!!!! Thanks Ohio for being a bunch of idiots!

    March 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Bobby

    Well, well, well, the truth finally comes to light.

    March 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Adiam48

    Clinton will do anything to win and someone may have tried to put it on the Obama campaign. This needs to be investigated.

    March 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Adam - TX

    Sounds like the Obama camp paid off members the canadian press with some of those campaign funds to throw out a little drama in the news....wouldn't be the first time this camp tries to intentionally distort information.

    Instead, maybe they should use some of that money to buy Barack a brain...that man is clueless!

    March 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Houston Texas

    Here we go again with the Clintons. I did not have a conversation with that man....I had a brief encounter.....I had an inappropriate conversation....

    Clinton – Part II

    March 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. mac

    there better be as much media coverage about this scandal as obama had...he was given such a hard time and was proven innocent...a thorough investigation is in order

    March 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Proud American

    Oh boy... this is what happens when you spit into the wind Hillary.

    March 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Linda

    What an absolute hypocrite!!! God I can't stand this woman. Her campaign has been run so unethically that I can't believe I used to like and respect her. Joke's on me I guess....

    March 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Fay (the Texan who voted for Obama)

    And her lies continue. I doubt this will make the evening news.

    March 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Judeline

    The mainstream media MUST thoroughly investigate this issue. If it is true that it is the Clinton campaign who did this and used it against the Obama camp, all democrats should stand up against the conniving, lying, cheating ways that have permeated American politics.

    March 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. judesuper

    Clinton is just a liar. NO WE CAN'T, not her, not now.

    March 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Josh

    I knew the Clintons were behind this

    March 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. David

    Took you guys long enough to report this. Thank you Hillary for knowingly defrauding voters in TX and OH. You had better brace for what's coming. Your campaign and media fabricated momentum is at an end.

    You will come to regret staying in this race.

    March 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. david

    these should be in the face of hillary just like the did to obama .come on clinton news network . put these in the first links on the frontpage. she needs the attention..

    come wolf howl @ this

    March 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Chris

    Obama you are making another rookie mistake... you are letting the media set you up by going negative... I am now starting to question if you really are the "change" candidate...

    I am starting to lose confidence in the democratic party... They need to do something now because neither one of them is going to get enough votes to get the nomination... if not they are going to let the two candidates destroy each other instead of uniting and going after McCain...

    March 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. doug

    Hillary, even man bear pig ca'nt save you from this one, Bill was up there in Canada.

    March 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Houston Texas

    Now we know that its the Canadian Prime Minister on the other end of that red phone at 3am.

    March 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Vandy

    Sir's,
    You're two day late; I Understand politics and I also understand the Clinton regime, we all shouldl agree with Mr. Obama when, during a recent debate he made this statement "she'll do or say anything to win.

    March 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. andrew jones

    I know Billary is a LIAR – pot calling the kettle black!

    March 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. JpJ

    I would like to thank the press for jumping to conclusions and reporting on the story with-out any proof or even any attempt to get the whole story. Outstanding job as usual.

    March 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Eden

    I cannot support Hillary after all this , shes lying to us

    March 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Gary in CT

    Will Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island get a do-over because they were deceived, not only by the Clintons, but by all the media?!?!

    March 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. BILLARY IN SCANDAL

    IS ANY sane person actually surprised by Clinton's denial of this? Where does the rest of the world think this accusation came from? Oh, yeah, another right wing conspiracy two days before the dems battle it out. Those republicans...And considering the Obama camp AND the Canadians deny the rhetoric of the discussion, why is this even news?

    March 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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