April 4th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
4 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. srs

    Full disclosure I wasn't always a HRC hater, although I never supported her for President because I have a real problem with dual monarchy in the US. But this along with joking about sniper fire suggest that I was right in not supporting her for President. At at time when brave Americans are under and dying from sniper fire its bad enough that she tried to share in their glory but is not truely distasteful for somebody who wants to be commander in chief to be joking about it. The next time she is late will she joke that she was held because of an IED explosion.

    April 4, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Gary

    Wake up America, if you have never seen someone talking out of both sides of their mouth before, this is what it looks like. Why does a Presidential candidate hire an advisor who has to leave their campaign in the middle of it to lobby for the other side?

    And by the way....Does anyone else think this guy looks like Norm from 'Cheers'?

    April 4, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. yael

    Therse continual efforts to come up with "gaffs" by the Clinton campaign to neutralize similar gaffs by the Obama campaign. The problem is, it never sticks. So it becomes ridulous. Obama gets called out on falsehoods. Most of the media gently rubs his back to get him through it. Then they try to find something on Clinton to match it. But they never do. Let's hear some real news for a change. Let's hear why Obama has vetoed every effort to give voice to the millions of disenfranchised voters in our country.

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

    ok, now that this guy has been exposed, next on the list of slip up's is Woolfson , Carville(Judas), and Lanny Davis, you know the guys who can't admit that Hillary lied, i wonder how much they stand to make off of her nomination. These are suppose to be intelligent Hillary supporters who are not actually in her campaign yet they get free media coverage and get to blast on Obama with out any accoutability because they are "indirectly" supporting the Hillary campaign, yet they can't tell the truth after watching Hillary lie three times about the Bosnia trip , they say she mispoke as she did...Even Obama supporters said they didnt' know what may happen after the Wright discovery , they didn't lie about the presumed problems he may cause for Obama, i make this point because even the supporters of Hillary will support a blatant lie, why is this other than money or power?

    April 4, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. james Pa

    she must think we are stupid, stupid, stupd like ohio. here pa
    we will not vote for her

    April 4, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. John

    jay Shah : Relax,it is apparent the Obama euphoria is catching up with you! The euphoria has a pancture and is almost flat.Better to dwell on reality and objectivity.

    April 4, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. keith

    She says that NOW. But let the trade agreement yield jobs, improved trade deal, etc for the US. Hillary Clinton will claim she had something to do with it like Ireland, Macedonia, etc. This guy is a lobbyist, which Obama says he won't let run his white house, and has ties to the Clinton campaign that they will use to their advantage. RIGHT NOW she says she is not for it but we know how she misspeaks, is sleep deprived, or speaks millions of words each day and is not responsible for what she says when questioned.

    April 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. Stephen

    Amy in Iowa you have been posting hate about Hillary for months, dont mislead people by saying this story has changed your mind, you are an awful person

    April 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. jujub

    This and her campaign manager, Maggie Williams...a former executive of a subprime loan company that is bankrupt and will bankrupt thousands of victims.

    April 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. sophia nyc

    3 strikes and your out.

    April 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Joanne

    Hey, guess what!! They are in a virtual dead heat. So why don't we ask Obama to go away? If we are talking lies, I believe he is in the lead for that dubious award.

    April 4, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Sharon

    Remember what Clinton said when the Obama adviser talked to the Canadians: "Just ask yourself [what you would do] if some of my advisers had been having private meetings with foreign governments."

    Well, one of your top advisers was caught talking to the Colombians! Doesn't matter if he said he was representing his firm, he holds a senior position in Clinton's campaign and by extension speaks for her indirectly. If he didn't want to give the wrong impression–if she didn't agree with what he was advocating–than Penn should have sent someone else to the meeting. I think there more to come out about this....let's wait for the other shoe to drop.

    April 4, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Ravi

    This is far worse than the Gooslbee-NAFTA issue that cost Sen. Obama in Ohio. How can the Clinton campaign possibly entertain a distinction between the pro-free trade stance of its chief strategist in his "private" capacity and Sen. Clinton's approach to trade (more so in light of White House archive records contradicting her "opposition" to NAFTA)?

    This falls in line with a shameful record of lies and contradictions that has become the hallmark of Sen. Clinton's bid for the White House.

    April 4, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Pete

    What? A Clinton making a sneaky deal in a smoke-filled room? Now we see where Hillary gets her money! No wonder she won't release her tax returns. There isn't enough bleach in Arkansas to clean those up!

    April 4, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Independent

    This is not the fact the Hillary is a woman. Plain and simple, SHE IS THE WRONG WOMAN ! She has disgraced every feminist before her with her lies and deceipt!

    April 4, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. LATINOVOTER

    Oh God – I can't wait til Penn State shuts down Hillary, Mark Penn, Ickes and Bill Clinton. They are so ruining the Democratic Party and looking more and more like lying Republicans everyday.

    April 4, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. clara

    hillary or bill isn't as much of a liar then oboma and i can't understand why any one would vote oboma after rev. wright and others have said about america whites and jews italiaans and now the cathic church whats next i wouldn't vote oboma because he will have whright in the white house with him remember whright is his spiritual guidence and mentor i sure would want that kind of spiritual guidence and a mentor i begining to think thay all are in a cult like those in texas was and jim jones were all those people killes them selves no thank you i got kids i sure don't want to put them in harms way

    April 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. CR

    Why isn't any of the main street media reporting on the latest Hillary scandal?

    She was fired from the Watergate Commitee because she lied and stole documents (sound familiar). Her supervisor called her a liar and unethical. She was only 1 in 3 lawyers that he refused to give a recommendation to in his 17 year career!

    Do a goodle search on "Hillary and Watrgate" to see the articles.

    April 4, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Voice that matters.

    Pennsylvanian you can see why you should not waste you vote on Hillary Clinton. She lied on NAFTA and now her campaign chairman has attended a free trade deal again.

    Open your eyes or cry folw later liet Ohio.

    April 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. marge

    "Charlotte April 4th, 2008 12:19 pm ET

    All of the candidates have lobbist on staff. I know Hillary was against NAFTA in its current form, so there".

    Then you know WRONG!!!!! Her WH papers prove she was for NAFTA....
    How gullible are YOU?????? Find out some facts before you post this garbage.....
    Hillary supported NAFTA in it's current form UNTIL she entered the predidential race.....

    April 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Celeste Guerrero

    Does anyone remember the drug lobbyist from New Hampshire who headed up Obama campaign that state? The explanation from Obama who says he doesn't use lobbyist is "he is a state lobbyist" yea sure. I don't believe anything Obama says. Hillary has consistently spoken out against these bad trade deals since she began her campaign. Sure the Clinton Administration made trade mistakes, but that doesn't mean she hasn't learned from them. I believe that Randi Rhodes exemplifies what Obama people think of Hillary. My party is going to commit suicide this year just like they did in '80,'88 and '04. here we go again listening to the very same losers.

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

    Are you kidding me? And we are suppossed to look the other way act like nothing ever happened AGAIN !...Sorry but at least we don't have to wait for the true colors of this Clinton to show before being hoodwinked into voting her into office-after the 1st- Clinton so disgraced the Oval office in so many ways and NO ONE can argue that point! But with the Clinton's ignorance is bliss.

    April 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. JUDE CT

    I hope the super-delegates are following all these developments about Hillary?.. If they vote her over Barack, their political career is over. Remember, the peoples vote may not count in the Presidential elections, but when it comes to other elections, you guys are fried. You can take that to the bank.

    April 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. jim

    Jane Fonda
    A.K.A.
    Hanoi Jane Has endorsed obama

    Several requests from students and other visitors have asked if the photos depicting Jane Fonda sitting on an NVA anti-aircraft gun were really her or not. The answer to this question is YES. Jane Fonda has expressed her regrets for having her picture taken while sitting on the anti-aircraft gun and for the pain that her action has caused many American Veterans.

    April 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. KY for Obama

    To the people comparing this to Obama's camp talking to Canadian officials – lets not forget the under-reported follup news to that – it turned out to be HILLARY's campaign and NOT Obama's that told Canadian officials that oposition to NAFTA was simply campaign rhetoric... So, this most recent story about meeting with Columbian officials sounds like a bit of a campaign trend for Clinton.

    April 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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