August 7th, 2007
10:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama slip on Canada

(CNN) – For the second time in recent debates, the mention of world leaders has attracted attention to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

At Tuesday night’s AFL-CIO forum in Chicago, Obama was asked if he would scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement as president. The senator from Illinois said, “I would immediately call the president of Mexico, the president of Canada, to try to amend NAFTA, because I think that we can get labor agreements in that agreement right now.”

The only problem is Canada has a prime minister, not a president.

And just in case anybody missed Obama’s slip, Senator Joe Biden noted, “Hey, look, the president's job is to create jobs, not to export jobs. And the idea that we are not willing to take the prime minister of Canada and the president of Mexico to the mat to make this agreement work is just a lack of presidential leadership. I would lead. I would do that. I would change it.”

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden • Race to '08
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Jon, St. Ignace, MI

    I think Obama would make a good Prime Minister of the United States.

    August 17, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Rod, AL

    If Bush had said this you Pro-Obamers would've been all over him. Report it and let the people decide. I'd like to see this guy take a test. Who cares if he's confident, like one poster said. People confidently murder, steal and kill.

    August 26, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Shaun, NJ

    Yeah, it's only news when a Republican slips up... Democrats are free to talk like third graders and then get a boisterous applause.

    August 28, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. John Sydney Yamane, Lihue, Hawaii

    Any professional writer like yourself can catch those repulsive slip ups! But only a unprofessional will not report the good will of change and leadership. If I was the President of CNN I would fire (relieve them of their jobs) people who do not report the goodness of any American leadership and their voices.

    September 9, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Vee Robillard

    I am Canadian and I could care less that Obama called our Prime Minister, "President". Many American's don't even know Canada is north of the USA. and I can live with that. LOL

    December 27, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Keefer, BC

    Standing in front of an audience who are hurling questions while everyone around is screaming can certainly cause an error in speech. Canadians would have found that funny and not something to criticize. What does annoy Canadians is the incredible ignorance of Americans about our country, ie: where it is, how big, that we have hot summers and the names of the Provinces.

    January 4, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. Ryan

    We canadian's just found it amusing.

    As long as he actually know's that Canada has a Prime Minister and not a President, then I'm game.

    January 7, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Eddie

    Obama is a huge mistake. I'm a registered democrat that will never vote for Obama as president. If he gets elected it's truly the beginning of the end for all of us.

    January 8, 2008 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  9. Philip The Canadian

    This is wrong. BOTH Obama and CNN are incorrect.

    Although we have a Prime Minister, our head of state (equivalent of the President) is her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, simply known in government terms as "The Crown".

    So yeah, CNN tries to bash Mr. Obama for making a slight mistake, when in fact they don't even know the answer themselves...

    January 29, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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