March 6th, 2008
02:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton campaign denies Canadian report on NAFTA comments

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton’s campaign is denying a Canadian report Thursday that suggests her campaign called representatives of that nation’s government to re-assure them that despite campaign rhetoric, they would not seek changes to NAFTA – an allegation they used against Barack Obama’s campaign in the days leading up to Tuesday’s critical primary votes.

"Unlike the Obama campaign, we can and do flatly deny this report and urge the Canadian government to reveal the name of anyone they think they heard from,” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said in a statement.

Shortly before the Ohio primary, the Canadian network CTV broadcast a report that Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee had told officials with the Canadian consulate in Chicago that the campaign would not look to alter the trade agreement, even though the Illinois senator had pledged to do so.

That report became a lightning rod on the campaign trail in Ohio, where NAFTA is deeply unpopular.

The Canadian government has said it is investigating the source of the leak. The Canadian Press reported Thursday that the comment that sparked the original story may have come from Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, Ian Brodie – and that his remark had implicated Clinton’s campaign, not Obama’s.

The Thursday story also said CTV’s Washington bureau had initially decided to report on Clinton. The New York senator was mentioned in the final report, but it focused on Obama’s aide.

The Canadian Press said government officials did not deny the conversation took place, but that Brodie denied discussing either candidate.

Earlier this week, the Obama campaign admitted Goolsbee and consulate officials had spoken, but not under the direction of the campaign, and said that a leaked Canadian government memo implying otherwise had mischaracterized the substance of the discussion.

On Monday, the Canadian Embassy in Washington issued a statement on the controversy that “there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA.”

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
soundoff (448 Responses)
  1. Margie in New York

    Is the desperation or what? We all are aware that the Canadian Gov't is a conservative gov't. They know GW and they also Hillary and they did Hillary a favor by releasing this information, then denied it, knowing full well it would hurt Barack.

    God is good, all the time and it shall come back to haunt them.

    March 6, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Angela

    Hey Jared

    More educated people support OBAMA???

    Look at the comment directly under yours!! Look at a lot of the comments from Obama supporters...

    very mature? very educated?

    March 6, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. JJ in NY

    ,What goes around, comes around . Every DOG has its day, and hillary was barking up the wrong tree .

    March 6, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. beckstone

    I am disgusted with the democratic voters that they have allowed her royal nastiness to stay in the race. Lift up women with charisma and independence, not patriarchy posturing and deception. Obama/Sebelius'08
    Save women from being represented by this fear monger. We don't need 8 more years of a democratic Bush. Bush has hugely bolstered the bad image of white men. Hillary can make white women look equally evil. Stop her and tell Obama to pick Kathleen Sebelius as VP!!!

    March 6, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Matt Los Angeles

    Gee, why was my blog comment about Hillary not posted? Maybe because I didn't include any racist or rude comments like others that were approved. I only included a quote by Cafferty and a news report on Hillary by NBC. Is this the Clinton News Network? Don't underestimate my PR capabilities.

    March 6, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. BarackStar

    For those of you thinking about going McCain if this witch steals the nomination with more of her dirty tricks, which I am sure she has many of them left up her black sleeve, we don't have to vote for either of them. I'm just going to write Barack Obama in anyway!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. beckstone

    Ha! Lets see if she can plagiarize a line from her husbands campaign. I hear he's good at damage control.

    March 6, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. n. miller

    I think that each of the news media should issue the truth about this topic – they were so fast to broadcast the topic when they decided that it was Obama – but when they discovered who really was the bad person they don't say a word. I am beginning to think that the news media does not like informing the people the truth.

    March 6, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. Gerry

    It's a shame. The rules were set by the DNC. FL and MI knowingly chose to ignore them. Mrs. Clinton supported the DNC by acknowledging FL and MI broke the rules and agreed that the delagates should not be seated. Now she is behind in the count. She wants the rules changed. Why don't all the states re-cast their votes then because they don't like the outcome.

    I am a republican, but have been moving towards Mr. Obama. A vote for Hillary is not a vote for change. It's a vote for status quo.

    When Bill cheated on her in the White House, any rational woman would have run. What did she do. She stayed. Not out of love. She stayed with Bill,.. for love of Power.

    If they were from Arkansas, why didn't they move there after their 8 years in D.C. She needed an easy road to the senate. New York gave her that road. She in no way is a New Yorker. She doesn't care about NY.

    Please read the book: Compromise: Clinton, Bush and the CIA. Chapters 15 – through the end. You hear in the press that the Clintons win at all costs. Read this book. Read about what they will do to gain the White House and ruin others lives.

    By the way, if she says that she's qualified to answer the call at three A.M, who was running the White House then for those 8 years? Is she suggesting that she answered the call herself? Where was Bill....Oh right servicing the country in the Oval Office...

    March 6, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. Sandi Philadelphia PA

    This Ian Brodie connection should get as much press coverage as Clinton's charge against Obama did. Yet, I haven't seen it become a lead story for any of the primetime broadcasts. I also haven't seen anyone discuss the Rezko-Clinton connection. How is suck skewed reporting possible?

    March 6, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    Lait, lair, pants on fire. It came back to really bite her in the butt. Barack should use this to show why she has poor judgement even on attacks. Hillary, I'm a respectful person but this makes you really, really, really look stupid, naive, and foolish, may I add a sucker.

    March 6, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. aware

    Right on! Barack has been less than truthful. He has lost his cool big time.

    Hillary the HOPE of 08 and the smart choice! Yes, we will! 🙂

    March 6, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Dave

    Wow, talk about hypocritical! Hillary blasts Obama about his "say one thing and do another" NAFTA stance, which turns out to be largely disproven, and then the facts come out and HER campaign actually did what she accused him of! Alot of Ohio voters are going to want their votes back, as it appears they got duped.

    March 6, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Mary

    Obama doesn't have to be nasty=his supporters are. I don't hate Obama. I just think he has poor.Judgement. Why is Tony Rezko important? I believe Obama's name came up in court today as someone the nice slum lord helped. If I were Obama I would brag about how much money I get each month. Was it from contributors like Tony Rexko-$150,000. Yesterday I saw a blog on some Iranian and campaing money. What's with this? Blogger come back.
    Judgement and transparentcy? The Repubians will make much of this in November. Don't point fingers Obama your advisor DID meet with the Candians.

    An explosive device went off in New York this morning. No ones knows what may happen between now and November. I do believe that we have a major incident and Obama is the candidate, we will have Pres. McCain.

    March 6, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. blake andrew

    many lations are just racist and they complaint about discrimination. there time will come when they need blacks and whites to vote for competent candidate. what goes around come around. i am a white male and i feel like racism should end in america now

    March 6, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Pon Mao

    Hillary Clinton will say anything and do anything to get what her wants, she's really the one who should be ashamed!

    And if she has the delegate lead and if it's Obama won MI and FL, I am sure she will NOT say count their votes now.

    Bad Kama will come back to get you, Hillary!

    March 6, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. Breka

    To the so call NYC, NY, New Yorker posting , you must be a very vicious person, where is your integrity with your lies. Firstly, you are not African American. In addition, I am sure you are so ignorant to post such lies.

    March 6, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Edi

    I am Canadian. Hillary Clinton's campaign did not phone the Canadian Consulate. Give me a break! Hillary Clinton's campaign would not phone ILLINOIS! Obama, Obama, Obama, when will you stop blaming the Canadians or someone else for your own faults.

    March 6, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. Dinesh

    Hillary, you can be a jerk sometimes, and unfortunately, obama might have to be one too you

    March 6, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. JP SW


    Sorry to burst your bubble of hope, but how do you explain away the hand written memo of a meeting that was RECORDED and the conversation that took place when that memo was given to a US news station? It wasn't Bill Clinton, folks. The memo and what was said in that meeting needed to be disclose. Poor baby Obama. He would have salivated to have had that memo inplicate Hillary instead of him. Keep dreaming.

    March 6, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. Michael, North Carolina

    Sen. Clinton has lied to the American people from the begining. She will lie about anything to get in the oval office. Sen. Obama has been honest from the begining, and Sen. Clinton will contiune to lie to the American people to cover-up and hide the fact that she is a phony- and cold person, who does not really care about the common man, or woman. Sen. Obama has won the hearts of millions of Americans. Sen. Clinton has only divided them. I will BOYCOTT THIS ELECTION, OR I WILL VOTE FOR SEN. McCAIN IF SHE GETS THE NOMINATION. Sen. Clinton also needs to come clean about the TAX RETURNS ALSO, SHE IS HIDING SOMETHING.
    May God bless Sen. Obama.


    March 6, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. Martin

    The media was quick to jump on this story just before the Ohio primary. Now the truth has been uncovered, and the news media is mum. No retraction, nothing. They caused Obama great harm in Ohio. If I was Obama I would lambaste the media and Hillary for promoting this lie.I would have it so that the public wouldn't believe anything the media nor Hillary has to say. I would kill their reputation softly, but deadly. Peace Obama '08

    March 6, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. dlr


    Now that you have first vetted Mrs. Clinton, according to her and then vetted Barack Obama after her whining appearance during the Ohio debate. Q: Can you now be fair to both and report the issues on an equal basis? How come this issue is not getting discussed? It's not a smear when the Canadian government has contradicted the Clinton campaign allogations? They're a government, they have no allegance to either candidate. Are you being fair to the American public? YOU are now representing the USA in maintaining diplomacy between our countries. WILL YOU DO THE RIGHT THING?

    March 6, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18