Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Obama Gets Exposed For His NAFTA Flip Flopping

Wasn't Obama just running commercials showing workers who had lost their jobs because of NAFTA? This man will say/do anything to get the vote. But on top of this lie of his, well, let's call it hiding the truth, he is not looking at the big picture about NAFTA. He is so busy putting Bill Clinton down for signing it but take a look at Mexico. If we cut our ties with Mexico they will lose 5,000,000 PLUS jobs minimum. Where do you think all those workers will go? Yep, right over the boarders. So all it does is changes one problem into another.

Obama Adviser Says Canadian Officials Misinterpreted His NAFTA Remarks
By Susan Jones Senior Editor
March 03, 2008

( - Just as a Canadian television network reported last week, an Obama campaign adviser gave the Canadian government the impression that Obama is talking tough about NAFTA on the campaign trail to win votes -- and that the Canadian government shouldn't worry about it.

A memo obtained by the Associated Press over the weekend shows how Canadian officials viewed their conversation with Sen. Barack Obama's senior economic policy adviser, Austan Goolsbee.

The memo was written by Joseph DeMora, who attended a meeting with Austan Goolsbee at the Canadian consulate in Chicago.

DeMora, summarizing the conversation with Goolsbee, wrote: "Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S. economic outlook, Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign. He cautioned that this messaging should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."

Later in the memo, DeMora wrote: "As Obama continues to court the economic populist vote, particularly in upcoming contests like Ohio, we are likely to see a continuation of some of the messaging that hasn't played in Canada's favour, but this should continue to be viewed in the context in which it is delivered."

CTV, the Canadian television network, reported last week that Obama was playing both sides on NAFTA -- saying one thing publicly to please union voters in Ohio (yes, we'll renegotiate NAFTA), and something else privately (it's just campaign rhetoric) to ease Canadian concerns.

In a conversation with the Associated Press on Sunday, Goolsbee disputed DeMora's memo. He said that DeMora was not quoting him and had mischaracterized the conversation. Goolsbee specifically told the A.P. he did not use the phrase "it's more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."

However, Goolsbee admitted he did tell Canadian officials that Obama is not a protectionist. Goolsbee told the Associated Press he was trying to convey that Obama wants to strike a balance between free trade -- and labor and environmental protections.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton was also on the line when Goolsbee spoke to the Associated Press on Sunday, apparently to help Goolsbee explain what happened. Burton told the Associated Press that Goolsbee's visit to the Canadian consulate was not official -- that Goolsbee was there as a private citizen, not as an emissary from the Obama campaign.

Both Sens. Obama and Hillary Clinton have insisted they would renegotiate NAFTA to include more labor and environmental protections -- and threaten to "opt out" of the trade agreement as leverage to force a renegotiation.

Such talk does not please Canada.

When Cybercast News Service contacted the Canadian Embassy in Washington last week, a spokesman said only that the CTV report about Obama's double-speak on NAFTA was not true; that "no one has contacted our embassy or our ambassador" to discuss anything of the sort.

No mention was made at the time about the existence of the DeMora memo -- which was "widely distributed within the Canadian government," according to the Associated Press.

Tristan Landry, a spokesman for the Canadian embassy in Washington, told the Associated Press that while consulate officials reach out to U.S. presidential candidates to seek their views, "Canada does not in any way seek to interfere in U.S. electoral politics."

Sen. Barack Obama's Web site says, "Obama believes that trade with foreign nations should strengthen the American economy and create more American jobs. He will stand firm against agreements that undermine our economic security."

The Web site -- mentioning NAFTA specifically -- says Obama "believes that NAFTA and its potential were oversold to the American people. Obama will work with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to fix NAFTA so that it works for American workers." The word "fix" is used instead of "renegotiate."

However, in his last debate with Sen. Clinton -- in Ohio -- Obama used stronger language: "I will make sure we renegotiate," Obama said. "I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced."

The Obama campaign is now running a radio ad that quotes an Ohio steelworker as saying, Hillary Clinton supported NAFTA, and I lost my job because of that." The steelworker adds, "I just don't think she supports people like me."

Sen. Clinton has promised to "take a hard look at NAFTA" with the goal of renegotiating it. Just because her husband pressed for the treaty doesn't mean she supports it, she insists.