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. Bimal Ghose

    This is the result of the smear campaign started by Clinton camp to malign Senaror Obama. "Shame on you<" Senator Clinton

    March 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Barb Canada

    Our Government says talk like this (between U.S and Canadian officials) happens all the time, and is never meant to be revealed to the public.....they now fear this leak played a role in the March 4 election so they are doing damage control! In reality what is happening is that both governments are again playing the public for fools.......Too bad Obama's camp wasn't real about the need for change... it certainly is needed!

    March 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. andrew jones

    Now this really calls to mind the conspiracy of the Billary campaign and the Canadian govt; expose Obama and let Billary off the hook!

    she is a crook and needs to be called on it.

    SHAME ON YOU BILLARY!!!!

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

    HRC what a Hypocrite you are

    March 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. NEVEROBAMA

    OH YEAH BLAME THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN – WHO SPUN THIS ONE? MAYBE THE OBAMA CAMP. UNLIKE OBAMA HILLARY KNOWS THIS IS NOT TRUE AND DOESN'T HAVE AN INCRIMINATING MEMO TO PROVE IT.

    THIS PROVES NOTHING – THIS IS MUD SLINGING BECAUSE OBAMA LOST – OBAMA REPRESENTS CHANGE ALRIGHT!

    GO HILLARY NOT THEY ARE GONNA COME AT YOU BECAUSE PRETTY BOY LOST.

    GO HILLARY!

    March 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Jon

    HEY PEOPLE OF OHIO !

    WANT YOUR VOTE BACK?????

    March 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. Cheryl

    She's a LIAR!
    An expert liar.
    What else is she hiding?
    Show us the tax returns now!
    We deserve to know about all of your other shady dealings.

    March 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. steph

    My God in what world do we live in thats we have people like the Clintons playing with the good American people

    March 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. Nice Try

    They are just trying to protect their golden boy...wheres the proof?? Can't help but notice that they don't have a memo or any record of the meeting...some originality Obama PLEASE- You seem to have a hard time playing with the big boys (and girls)

    March 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. OH WELL

    The people of OHIO probably feel duped by HILLARY right now, But you have to give it to her; The experience she has is lying. What a USED CAR SALEMAN :)

    March 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Liz

    Ok, we just go back to backing Obama, even when he DID deny that such a meeting took place. Who really supports and man who does not even take the lead, when needed? He makes for a great vice-president, to get on the job training, but come on, let's be real, President of the U.S.? I feel that the media is simply reporting on anything that they can, to go back to their constant support of a man with no record, no experience, and lots of blabbering. Nice job, CNN!

    March 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. D.Observer

    Hillary is so slimy she stinks. I respected her but now she is just like Bush. With all her shady dealings, hidden records and taxes it is horrible that people even vote for her. She only won Texas (barely) with the help of Republicans crossing over in hopes that she gets beat by Mccain in the general election. She stole furniture from the White House that she had to return. If she would steal furniture why not an election. She said she will win at all cost. By the way, momentum is winning twelve in a row not 3 out of the last 17 contests. Anywhere else you would call that a loser. When its all said and done she only gains 12 more delegates than Obama. Hardly enough to claim a victory

    March 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Big E

    Hillary campaign is lying and they are desperate was once a Clinton sopporter now a Clinton enemy

    March 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. angie

    Thank you CNN for bringing us the full story AFTER the elections this week. You contributed to the smear campaign created by the Clinton machine – hope you are pleased.

    March 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. VIVIAN

    OH MY GOSH HILLARY IS A BIG FAT LIAR. I THINK I HATE HER... WAIT, I KNOW I DO!!

    March 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Patricia

    once again the Clintons have fooled us

    March 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. chevy

    i hope clinton does win this election so I CAn Spit in the face of every single ohian and RHs, I want to see world leaders laugh at clinton, i want to see congress squash her powers, in fact i want the republican party to gain millions of suppoters. Ohio was a stupid blindsighted state.

    March 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. D.Kimbro OHIO

    Here we go again. Does anyone believe that if you will do these things to get elected, you can be expected to do the right thing if you get in office. As you can see all of the clever ads, funds raised, and endorsements can't change the character of a person. The Clintons are a disgrace. They have used every dirty trick in the book and what did it get them. By the way great win in Texas that will yield you half as many delegates.

    March 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Tubby The Tuba

    Call it what it is: DIRTY POLITICS CLINTON STYLE. What does that say for Hillary??? Doesn't have to be the truth....

    March 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Mike

    I love how our country lives for gossip and rumors... It is not even November yet!!!

    I can not believe that the democratic party is going to let this happen... a decision needs to happen quick... neither Obama nor Clinton will get enough delegates to win the nomination... The supers need to vote and decide on what to do with MI... Florida needs to count their primary and split the votes for Edwards...

    March 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Christiane

    Wow! And all this only to get the Votes in Ohio! I would like to know how the People in Ohio feel now. There are People from Ohio here? Would be intersteing to hear what you think.
    Obama 08

    March 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. nick

    OHIO you suckers. Ha ha ha. You fell for a liar named Clinton. The def. of liar is Clinton, look it up for yourself. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". You got bucked in the eye. SUCKERS

    March 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. Jake

    A Vote for Hilary is a Vote for McCain

    March 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Chuck in Oregon

    Oh my.... Was Bill Clinton really up there in Canada just before this broke? Regardless of who, what or when, this is a mess. At first I was surprised and disappointed in Obama, but now I am totally ticked.
    Not at Obama, but at this whole mess... having been reported before it was completely investigated truly did Obama serious harm in Ohio. Those that failed to properly investigate this before reporting it as fact should be ashamed of themselves. And If Hillary or Billary or how ever you want to referr to them had anything to do with this, the American People will speak loud and clear in a very decisive voice even if it means Hillary comes up with the Nomination by voting for McCain. Now that would be a true crime. If Hillay's team is tied to this, including Bill, then she should instantly toss in the towel for deception and out right lies.

    March 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. grace

    Wake up America doesn't believe anything this Bipolar woman says
    she's a professional liar

    March 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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