April 4th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
8 years ago

Campaign: Penn wasn't representing Clinton in trade meeting

(CNN) - A Clinton campaign spokesman said Friday senior adviser Mark Penn's recent meeting with the Colombian ambassador to discuss a free-trade deal does not reflect Hillary Clinton's staunch opposition to the proposal.

"She remains steadfast against the Colombian Trade Bill," said spokesman Mo Elleithee, adding that the meeting was "not in any way done on behalf of the campaign."

The meeting, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, occurred Monday. Penn appears to have been acting in his role as chief executive of the international communications and lobbying firm, Burson-Marsteller Worldwide. The Colombian Embassy hired the firm to help achieve congressional approval of the trade deal.

Clinton has said she is against the trade bill, and has sharply criticized America's free trade agreements as she campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (222 Responses)
  1. enoch needles

    Give the guy a break! Hillary can't afford to pay her campaign staff and a guy's gotta eat.

    April 4, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Wise Dem.

    In Ohio Hilary criticized NAFTA, when the documents of her years in the Whitehouse was published, it revealed Hilary supported NAFTA.

    Today, Hilary's lobbyst -strategist in support of some free trade agreement and Hilary says she is against???????????????

    April 4, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. PA voter

    Hum maybe another blunder like Canada. Us blue collar PA workers are catching on to Clinton. I don't know if Rendell can even save her.

    April 4, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. mep

    If this is her senior advisor, wouldn't this be a serious conflict of interest?...If this is her senior advisor, wouldn't this also go towards explaining why her campaign is such a mess?...Or is it just another misstatement?

    April 4, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Mer

    Shouldn't the person who heads your campaign share kind of believe what the candidate believes in?
    How can this guy be objective?
    It smells fishy

    April 4, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Elena

    I was an ardent Hillary supporter. In spite of Bill's record. I didn't realize they were actually cut from the same cloth. I am so blown away by Hillary, and how she over-simplifies her "gaffs" and then laughs at us as we're trying to digest this.

    I loved the Clinton's during the 90's and even agreed the "right-wing conspiracy" was attempting to take them down. Wow have my eyes been opened. Sure there are those who would like to, but this un-doing is Billary's doing.

    April 4, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA



    April 4, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Chris Banner

    OK so they lied again, what's the big deal? They always tell lies anyways, I'd be surprised if they told the truth

    April 4, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. J S

    Hold on ... Sen. Obama's advisor may or may not have talked to Canadian officials about NAFTA, and that gets heavy rotation for the three days right before the Ohio primary – and now Sen. Clinton's CAMPAIGN MANAGER is actively lobbying for a trade agreement this week, and the story is buried in the "Politics" section???

    Holy bias, Batman!

    April 4, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Chris-Seattle

    This is funny, funnier than Jay Leno's interview! OMG I'm falling out of my chair, please someone help me, I've fallen and can't get up! OMG I need air, I can't stop laughing!!! Oh please stop, you're killing me, no please, no more!!! Whew, that was a doozy! Next in line please!

    Obama 08

    April 4, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. BG

    Very interesting. Barack Obama was attacked by the HRC for the exact same thing when one of his advisors talked to the Canadian consulate about NAFTA on a tour he planned months before the race began. Then after Canadian press and opposition started looking into the allegations, they found that the CTV sources originally quoted Clinton as the one talking to the Government, but the reporter with the story went straight for the Obama side (probably because it's a better story) when he got wind of it.

    Within the week a high political ranking official from the Harper government was implicated in the leak and "mispoke" to press that Clinton and Obama people came to them (reinforcing the Clinton/NAFTA part) which he later denied even giving the interview.

    Now we have this story about Mark Penn, the biggest shark on Obama in regards to NAFTA-gate doing the exact same thing. Bottom line this reinforces suspicisons that the HRC were orginally the ones who approached the Canadian government and the informal interview with the Obama advisor taking the heat because of lazy intestigative journalism from CTV news.

    April 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Sandra

    Penn looks like an unkempt sleaze. The entire Clinton campaign is trying to lie and bully their way into the White House. I am not buying it.

    April 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. A in NYC

    So much hate. I thought Obama supporters were so because of his positivity. it seems they spend more time hating Hillary than they do learning about whatever it is their candidate has done to earn his place on the pedestal he put himself on.

    April 4, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Saska

    As an Obama supporter, I consider this story to be about Mark Penn. I think it demonstrates HIS terrible judgment that he'd be involved in a project like this at the same time he's involved in Clinton's campaign.

    Now, it does also suggest that Hillary Clinton ought to reconsider Mark's employment as the head of her campaign. I'll withhold my judgment of her until I see what she does about it. But where I work, employees who engage in this kind of conflict of interest get fired.

    April 4, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. david goldman for OBAMA




    April 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. dee gee

    Isn't this just what everyone (edwards, obama) been saying about her ties to special interest and questioning her allegiances? Her campaign strategist is a lobbyist!

    What a disappointment she's turned out to be. Please step aside Hilary and let's get on with it.

    April 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. debra1953

    well Mark Penn' has a job to do like everyone eles just like a lot of obamas people do. that dose not mean that everything they do has something to do with there canidate . dose your jobs have some thing to do with the one you are supporting? no? you are just doing your job the way he was nothing to do with clinton . just earning his pay the way you do. i am not for either canidate i see good and bad in both i am not trying to defend anyone just haveing a open mind about this as alot of people should do about this whole campaine and stop all this ugly stuff of trying to lowrate the others canidate they support

    April 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Kim

    keep it up obamabots, you keep digging a whole for your candidate, the nastier your become, the worse he's going to have it, millions of voters will not vote for him because he is A. Inexperienced, B. has bad judgement(Reverend Wright) and Most of all C. has the most vicious, hateful, divisive followers, you people have so much hate that it is shameful to think that you are the future of our country, you have no respect for anyone not even yourselves, this will be the downfall of Obama, continue to spew your nasty, I hope to God that none of you leave this earth tonight, you will certainly be heading straight to hell in a handbasket, you hateful little people. I will continue to pray for your souls.

    April 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. karen

    I will never trust Hillary. She works along the lines of GW Bush, Cheney, Gonzalez and Rove.

    April 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Kenneth M.

    Why is everyone against Hillary? She is on our side. Just because you like Obama does not mean she is dirt. Cant we vote for Obama without trashing others?

    April 4, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Jake, California

    How can Hillary crack a joke about the sniper fire flap? This is a major lie, the core of her campaign which is experience.

    What would she think if Obama went around telling jokes about Rev. Wright's comments?

    Does this woman take us for fools? I really think she should now get out of this race!

    April 4, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Chris

    If sound more like the Obama and the Canadian situation, only now it is on the other side...what a surprise Hillary.

    Hillary, you never cease to amaze people with your lies and scandals. The funny part is ..you have followers even with all your lies.

    April 4, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Krissy, FL

    Obama's constituents don't die, we multiply!

    April 4, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Mike from Calgary

    Oops sorry – that not Hillary Campaign LIE OF THE DAY but rather a TODAY'S MISMATCH OF CLINTON'S WORDS AND ACTIONS.

    When Hillary tells a whopper – it's JUST WORDS.

    And it all depends on what the meaning of "is' is right?

    And when I promised to produced taxes or reform Health Care 15 years ago (albeit totally ineffectively) , or that I opposed NAFTA (I mispoke – it was in fact my campaign who made the double -speak remarks to the CTV, Globe & Mail reporters in Canada's pre-Budget Media Lockdown in Ottawa) – REMEMBER THEY ARE JUST WORDS.

    AND when I said NO that I didn't tell Bill Richardson that OBAMA was a loser, were those JUST WORDS TOO!


    April 4, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Eric

    Get ready for a new big business owned administration if Clinton is elected. This reeks of Halliburton. These are trade deals she opposes to the public just due to campaigning in places like Indiana and Ohio. She is a firm NAFTA warrior and will sign any pro-globalization anti-American worker law into power. I wonder if any of Penn's companies will benefit once she inks in further trade deals with the blood of American workers? Recession? Get ready for a depression.

    April 4, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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