February 27th, 2008
08:23 AM ET
14 years ago

Ohio's Sherrod Brown satisfied with NAFTA answers

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) - Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, an avowed economic progressive who also happens to be an uncommitted superdelegate from a very important state, said he was pleased with both candidate's answers on NAFTA during Tuesday's debate.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were asked if, as president, they would opt out of NAFTA in six months. Both candidates said they supported restructuring NAFTA and would use the threat of opting out of the agreement as a negotiating tool.

"They said it exactly right," Brown told CNN. "I want trade and more of it. I want it under different rules."

Brown voiced loud opposition to NAFTA during his 2006 Senate campaign, in which he unseated GOP incumbent Mike DeWine.

"If we say we want a different NAFTA," Brown continued, "they will negotiate, always with the threat of opting out if they don't, and that's exactly the right position. And I was thrilled, because I have not heard either of them specifically say that and they answered the question directly."

Brown said he is not planning to endorse either Democratic candidate.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Ohio
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. D

    Mr. Brown your staying neutral at this time and not endorsing is very respected. I voted for you.
    Governor Strickland's own beliefs and words were used to speak to his candidate last night. Now let's see what she does- Governor Strickland's way or The Clinton's way.
    Look at DeWine on television sucking up to Senator McCain. He is trying to appear that they are physically joined.

    February 27, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. Clinton supporter

    At least somebody can say that NAFTA is not bad to everyone. Some people benefit from it. Why take it away and hurt some people and satisfy others? I think that they should try to improve it.

    February 27, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Candi

    Hillary tried to defend her NATFA views but I think that she is taking money for Lobbyist and will not admit it until after a nominee is select. That is unfair to the American people. If she is straight on trying to get out of NAFTA then why is Bill holding the goods?

    February 27, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. MediaBias

    Thank you Tim Russert for hammering Hillary on this, she is ON RECORD and ON TAPE SAYING exactly what you stated, but she ignores those words and FACTS by belittling you by you "not having all the facts".

    Is it possible that she has spoken negatively about NAFTA as well, you bet, and that in itself would PROVE that she will change the message poll to poll, debate to debate and audience to audience.

    I guess every election cycle the media will crown someone the "flip-flopper" and in this case they missed the boat by NOT dubbing the "inevitable one" the queen of flip flops.

    Romney changed or modified his position over a period of YEARS, but he got the label instead of HilBilly.

    February 27, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. david

    Perhaps he will endorse after Hillary wins Ohio.

    February 27, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Wayne, Greenville TX

    C'mon, Sherrod. Get off the fence and endorse Obama.

    February 27, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  7. Cyndi, MD

    I am from Maryland, and would love to hear from voters in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island.

    What did you think about the debate?

    Who do you plan to vote for?

    February 27, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. Adam

    I too am satisfied with Obama's NAFTA answer given it was the exact statement that Hillary made 10 seconds before him!

    Can this man NOT come up with his own answers?

    HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. Adam

    Wayne from TX – Perhaps Sherrod would like to make up his own mind rather than drink the Kool-Aid.

    HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. Texasboo

    I thought this was answered very well and pleased that Obama had a better plan on creating green jobs in the rust belt.


    February 27, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. OMG

    You're right, Mr. Brown. We have no choice but to participate in international trade whether it is Nafta or other agreements. I, too, think both candidates were right to insist on renegotiations which can protect US workers and yet allow US companies to remain competitive on a world market. Sometimes, outsourcing work is the best "foreign aid "possible and can allow others to stay home-based in their country (yes, I'm speaking of Mexico).

    This is not impossible task, but might cut in to a few corporate profits........a little tax relief on the 35% corporate tax now imposed might ease their pain.

    February 27, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Tim

    Good Job MSNBC the truth of hillary supporting the NAFTA has come clear to the american people after last night debate. The fliers distributed by the obama campaign was clear and accurate. My advice to hillary is you can not decieve the American people any more those days are over. Concede and let us enjoy our next president President Barack Obama.

    February 27, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. Joy from TN

    Last nights debate was the best thus far as hard questions were asked of each candidate. I do believe it clearly showed which candidate is calm, collected, and thoughtful during verbal attacks. I don't believe we need a president that just wants to "fight" meaning my way or no way. Americans should also be concerned about a candidate that will not release tax returns (as Obama has) nor release information from the Clinton library–again she skirted around this. We need integrity in a president.

    P.S. I'm a republican that will be voting Obama after watching all debates.

    February 27, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. BL - NYC

    Mr. Sherrod...
    Mrs. Clinton was honest and strong.
    Mr. Obama was fumbled and rehearsed.
    Quite obvious who will be taken seriously during negotiations...

    CLINTON 2008

    February 27, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. TJP

    Love when Hillary gets the tough questions on NAFTA first from Russert and then Obama says " Oh yea. I agree with what she said".

    February 27, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. Charlotte

    Hillarys' remarks on NAFTA was right on. She was against it in its current form. David Greugen said she was against it. Once it was signed it was a done deal and trying to make it work, as it has for some communities, was the position she took. Hillary, as First Lady, was able to get at least children covered under her plan. What has Obama accomplished even partially? Where was he when the Iran issue was being voted on? Oh yeah he was absent, as he has been for 40% of the time.

    February 27, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. therealist

    I wonder where Sen. Sherrod Brown's car is made, or where his $2000 suit is made?? Has Sherrod made any attempt to promote American made products???

    If you can't walk the walk, sit down and shut up..

    February 27, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. Chris from California

    It seems to me that every time Hillary Clinton speaks about her plans for fixing the problems in our country, Barack Obama simply agrees with her. I saw Bill Clinton speaking in California a couple of months ago and he talked about Hillary Clinton's plans to stimulate the economy and to help the environment at the same time by creating new jobs in the "Green" industries. A few weeks later, I hear Barack Obama saying the exact same thing. The only somewhat original idea that I have heard from Barack Obama is a healthcare plan that is different than Hillary Clinton's in that Obama's plan excludes about 15 million people while Hillary's covers all Americans.

    February 27, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Chris from California

    As for NAFTA, Hillary Clinton has long been a critic of NAFTA as it currently stands. I think Barack Obama's hit piece on her regarding it was certainly taking the low road for him. She was criticizing the unhelpful parts of NAFTA long before Barack was even on the national political scene. Moreover, Barack Obama has praised NAFTA, himself, when, in 2004, he reportedly said that we should be making more deals like NAFTA. I think it was pretty hypocritical of him to attack her on something he, himself, has promoted.

    February 27, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. B. Smart

    The clintons were responsible for NAFTA's loss of jobs. Any other conclusions would be called denial.

    February 27, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. TiredoftheCrap

    Chris from California–"healthcare plan that is different than Hillary Clinton's in that Obama's plan excludes about 15 million people while Hillary's covers all Americans."

    At what cost to everyone? what happens to those who can't pay?

    February 27, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. crat3

    Hillary will renegotiate NAFTA and protect American jobs. This calls for a qualified, experienced, visionary leader, who is Hillary Clinton. She will inspire the U.S. and the world . She will bring back properity to the U.S. economy and restore America's good standing in the world.

    February 27, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. moderate dem

    Cut the old political BS. Hillary has been against NAFTA and the Obama camp should go to factcheck.org and so should Tim Russert. Its all there Obama people or have you found a way to discount a totally unbiased group like that, too. What Russert was quoting her on was her speaking about places where NAFTA has worked, and yes I'm sorry to tell you guys, it did work for some people. Go ask the people living on the border what they think of NAFTA.

    February 27, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. anon

    When goods are not allowed to freely cross borders, armies or immigrants will quickly cross instead.

    February 27, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. Curtis

    I believe that Hillary did a good job at saying that NAFTA is good for some but not for all. With her saying that, we can now fix NAFTA so that everyone can benefit from it. Well said Sen. Clinton.

    February 27, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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