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. Black Man

    Hillary views on NAFTA was great. Obama had a lot of great ideas, since most of them was Hillary's. Obama tried to steal Hillary line from last week. Ohio and Texas weak up! Hillary is for the American people. VOTE FOR HILLARY

    February 27, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    This recent focus on NAFTA is a diversion to keep people from looking at the predatory trade practices of the Chinese. Even Mexico with their lower than dirt wages is loosing jobs to China. I'd like to see this discussed by the candidates. Especially Clinton, because they were so cozy with China business when Bill was president.

    February 27, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. TJP

    Guess who pays for the uninsured in Obama's Health Care plan? We do. Guess who gets financial help in Hillary's Health Care plan? Those who can't afford to pay.

    February 27, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. California Independent

    Why would he be satisfied? They both said the deals needed to be enforced. They have no intention of keeping jobs here. I don't want 'safer' products from China. I want safe products made by American workers.

    Is anyone but me tired of Obama saying 'ditto'?

    February 27, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. John

    Which of Hillary's many positions does Mr Brown feel happy with?? she has flip flopped on this issue and cannot be trusted to maintain a principaled positon, Hillary appears to go with the latest polling trends just as she did with the Iraq war issue, and so many others like supporting Bushes Iran position just how does she propose to get solutions and a change in direction when she has supported so much Bush has done.

    February 27, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. TS 4

    If Hillary is so qualified with so much experience and vision why did she not fight and use this experience to discourage her husband to vote against NAFTA and fight Bush on the Iraq war. Can someone please answer that question for me?

    February 27, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Karen

    Does any country actually believe that America would opt out of any trade deal? This is laughable. The Dems have signed every trade bill that has crossed their path.

    The Dems are in control. Why haven't they done anything to date?

    WE THE PEOPLE have been bamboozled and are happy about it.

    February 27, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Stephen

    How is Obama going to make his judgements as president when he wont be able to say "I'll do what Hillary just said."

    February 27, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. therealist


    What about the 300 pound gorillas in the room that will clearly make both these healthcare plans unsustainable?? You know, the 20 million illegals!!

    I guess being lied to and/or mislead is all in the eyes of the mislead, huh..

    February 27, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. pd4hillary

    I love the fact that everytime Hillary laid out her plan, Obama said ditto, me too. Russert was absolutely arrogant and downright rude to Clinton. Sorry Tim if she called you out on being the sexist hack you are. Go write another book about you and your father. Get out of political journalism, if you can't conduct yourself as an objective journalist. I think they should have one more debate on SNL where it might be a fair presentation of their ideas.

    By the way, does anyone notice the twitch Obama gets when he is being gotten. Priceless.

    Hillary may not pull this off, but I hope she goes down fighting. If she's not the nominee, I'm out of the Democratic Party. Afterall, theClinton Adminstration was the reason I got into it.

    How many left-wing liberal Democratic leaders (Kennedy, Kerry, etc) does it take to realize they are heading down the wrong path to success? It doesn't matter, they never do.

    February 27, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Michael

    Hillary Clinton actually answered the question, Obama just agreed with her. Just like he did all night. Hiding behind a woman.

    The next President of the United States – Hillary Rodham Clinton!

    Change + Experience = Tough.

    February 27, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. Sherry

    I think that people need to really look at Obama. If he is truly an inspiriational person he would be able to speak using many different words, not the same ones. I get tired of hearing the same words over and over again. I get tired of him using Hillary's position over and over again and people can't see that Hillary speaks from knowledge and facts and he uses phrases design to make you not look at the fact that he does not have any facts. Substance is always better than glitter. You know how you meet someone that is fine on the outside but once you get them home you can't wait to kick them out. The sad thing is if they make Obama the nominee. What happens when we want to kick him out?

    February 27, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. tired of hillary clinton

    she's acting like a child when she's supposed to be mature and experienced. i was going to vote for hillary but now i'm just disgusted and disappointed in her desperate tactics. she's doing herself more harm than good. quoting SNL was tacky. no wonder obama's voters are people with a college education.

    February 27, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. rb

    Hillary, I respect you!
    At least you come up with your own answers. You don't wait for Obama to answer it for you.

    February 27, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Janet from NH

    As an Obama supporter I think it's great when he says his plan is the same as Hillary's. It shows that she is lying about him only being about words, rallies, and heavenly choirs singing. If she attacks his plans she is really attacking her own. The people who have done their research know that on policy they are extremely similar. Obama beats Hillary in the personal qualities that a President needs: he is confident, she is arrogant, he thinks, she reacts, he exudes grace, she is rude, he soothes, she barks, he unites, she divides.

    February 27, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Pete

    Yes I know! My posting will die in Murderation or whatever you chose to call it. I t does not matter that I am a patriotic citizen serving overseas. However, I do believe that we all have a stake in this election, so please CNN once in a while I will appreciate your posting of my humble opinions.

    Once again! dear fellow bloggers I'm lost dazed and confused with all the bickering between O & H aren't we all intelligent enough to research this two candidate on our own and make a judgement on which one of them has the best to offer. It really doesn't matter what they say, cuz as you're well aware of some of them (not naming any names) would say and do anything to be elected. People! Please make an effort, go the extra mile and research your candidates!

    February 27, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Jack

    Hillary did slightly better in the last two debates than Obama.

    Aside from her charges against the media for favoring Obama and her "Xerox" comment against Obama, she definitely demonstrated that she knows a lot more about being president.

    Obama seemed to acknowledge that Hillary knows more through his consistent replies, "I agree with Hillary" or "Hillary is right."

    Seems like Ohio is leaning toward Hillary and Texas is a toss-up depending on how Hispanics vote.

    February 27, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Shannon

    Let's be fair, Obama didn't answer this question, he agreed with Hillary... Big difference....

    February 27, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. jacq

    Janet from NH hit the nail on the head. You go girl.!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. ees

    The debate clearly showed the person who cares and is committed to the welfare of every man, woman and child in this country is Sen Clinton who will fight for our rights and equality. There will be no other woman like her in a very long time who epitomizes the strength of an American mother and worker. She will stand as an excellent role model for all not only of the young women but also the young men of this country. Do we want a role model in the WH who has admitted drug and alcohol abuse? Do we want our moral values to erode further? Now we are seeing a very strong nominee in Sen Clinton and lets stand beside her and seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to make our country great again because her courage and her strength will get us back on the right track.

    February 27, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. Dave

    If any of the candidates were playing it smart they would be promising to deal with countries in violation of their obligations under the trade agreements. Too many countries are being allowed to not hold up their end of the bargain and it is about time that the trade agreements were followed in full and not just in part as to not offend other nations.

    February 27, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Stephina

    Maybe they ask Clinton the first questions because they don't Obama has the experience to answer them without giving him time to fomulate a response.

    Of course, it is easy to just say " I agree with Hillary".

    February 27, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Jean

    They give Hillary the first question, and Obama listens to the answer
    and learns about the subject. Then when it's his turn it almost sounds as if he might know something. We should listen to his praise about Hillary's experience and do the right thing

    February 27, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. nl

    I looked at the democratic debate last evening and must say that Hillary was bang on with her answers. Did anyone noticed that Senator Obama agreed with all of her answers. Barak should really run for the presidency in 4 years. I do not believe that he can beat Senator McCain. The GOP is just using reverse psychology on the Democratics stating that they would have a hard time running against Barak. They know for sure that they would have a hard time beating battle proven HILLARY CLINTON

    February 27, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Gary Mitchell - Vancouver WA

    The comments that HRC did slightly better than Barack in either of the last two debates makes me wonder if they were watching the same channel as I was. HRC has demonstrated in front of the voters on both occaisons the polarizing diblitating effect she has anyone who differs with her spin on anything. Simply ask her fellow members in Congress who they most feel they can work with. Their answer would not be HRC. She would not change a political system that works to her benefit even though it works to detriment of her constituency and the American people. It is all about HRC and her disire to be President. She is not equiped to solve anything and the country and world will be worse off than ever if she were elected.

    February 27, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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