Clinton/Obama Promises Offered On NAFTA: Fact? Or Fiction?

clown politiciansYou shouldn’t believe everything a politician tells you. As with attorneys and meteorologists, politicians are paid to be professional liars. When Bill Clinton was running for President in 1991, he promised to over-haul the credit system and make it a little more accurate and harder to invade from outsiders. He never lifted a finger. The entire credit card system is a disaster to this day and banks are still using it to make decisions on loaning money to their customers.

In last week’s debate between Clinton and Obama, the subject was brought up on their views about NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Both of the Senators agreed that NAFTA would be either renegotiated or at least “reviewed”. According to the original transcripts, Clinton said:

You know, I have been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning. I didn’t have a public position on it, because I was part of the administration, but when I started running for the Senate, I have been a critic. I’ve said it was flawed. I said that it worked in some parts of our country, and I’ve seen the results in Texas. I was in Laredo in the last couple of days. It’s the largest inland port in America now. So clearly, some parts of our country have been benefited.

She continued on:

So what I have said is that we need to have a plan to fix NAFTA. I would immediately have a trade timeout, and I would take that time to try to fix NAFTA by making it clear that we’ll have core labor and environmental standards in the agreement.

Her final thoughts on NAFTA were…

So I would hope that, again, we can get to a debate about what the real issues are and where we stand because we do need to fix NAFTA. It is not working. It was, unfortunately, heavily disadvantaging many of our industries, particularly manufacturing.

Obama stepped into the conversation, first by disagreeing with Senator Clinton’s claim she’s “always been against” NAFTA, but did offer his thoughts on the subject:

I have to say, Tim, with respect to my position on this, when I ran for the United States Senate, the Chicago Tribune, which was adamantly pro-NAFTA, noted that, in their endorsement of me, they were endorsing me despite my strong opposition to NAFTA.

And that conversation that I had with the Farm Bureau, I was not ambivalent at all. What I said was that NAFTA and other trade deals can be beneficial to the United States because I believe every U.S. worker is as productive as any worker around the world, and we can compete with anybody. And we can’t shy away from globalization. We can’t draw a moat around us. But what I did say, in that same quote, if you look at it, was that the problem is we’ve been negotiating just looking at corporate profits and what’s good for multinationals, and we haven’t been looking at what’s good for communities here in Ohio, in my home state of Illinois, and across the country.

And as president, what I want to be is an advocate on behalf of workers. Look, you know, when I go to these plants, I meet people who are proud of their jobs. They are proud of the products that they’ve created. They have built brands and profits for their companies. And when they see jobs shipped overseas and suddenly they are left not just without a job, but without health care, without a pension, and are having to look for seven-buck-an-hour jobs at the local fast-food joint, that is devastating on them, but it’s also devastating on the community. That’s not the way that we’re going to prosper as we move forward.

Sounds like we’re all in agreement with how both of our Presidential Candidates feel about NAFTA?

KOAApparently, the camp counselors from both Clinton’s and Obama’s KOA have already been dialing up the Canadians and telling their Prime Minister that they were just “joking”. You know…”kidding”! …Just “joshing around”. Says the Canadian-based CTV.com:

Barack Obama has ratcheted up his attacks on NAFTA, but a senior member of his campaign team told a Canadian official not to take his criticisms seriously, CTV News has learned.

Both Obama and Hillary Clinton have been critical of the long-standing North American Free Trade Agreement over the course of the Democratic primaries, saying that the deal has cost U.S. workers’ jobs.

Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama’s campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources.

The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.

But Tuesday night in Ohio, where NAFTA is blamed for massive job losses, Obama said he would tell Canada and Mexico “that we will opt out unless we renegotiate the core labor and environmental standards.”

Late Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Obama campaign said the staff member’s warning to Wilson sounded implausible, but did not deny that contact had been made.

The Clinton KOA has been peeing in the same swimming hole on the topic too:

“Senator Obama does not make promises he doesn’t intend to keep,” the spokesperson said.

Low-level sources also suggested the Clinton campaign may have given a similar warning to Ottawa, but a Clinton spokesperson flatly denied the claim.

During Tuesday’s debate, she said that as president she would opt out of NAFTA “unless we renegotiate it.”

On the subject of NAFTA; it appears that the only politician that wasn’t lying about the damages it would do to those of us in the United States was Ross Perot. Perot told all of us to “listen for the giant-sucking sound of jobs headed over the border to Mexico should NAFTA be ratified.”

updated3 The NAFTA story is a hoax. According to Political Radar,

During a debate in Ohio this week, where NAFTA is blamed for job losses, both Obama and Clinton said that as president, they would opt out of the trade deal unless it could be renegotiated.

When asked about the CTV report, Obama’s said today, “It wasn’t true.”

Today Bill Burton of the Obama campaign told ABC News no senior Obama campaign representative called the Canadian embassy. “The news reports on Obama’s position on NAFTA are inaccurate and in no way represent Senator Obama’s consistent position on trade,” Burton said separately in an email.

“When Senator Obama says that he will forcefully act to make NAFTA a better deal for American workers, he means it. Both Canada and Mexico should know that, as president, Barack Obama will do what it takes to create and protect American jobs and strengthen the American economy — that includes amending NAFTA to include labor and environmental standards. We are currently reaching out to the Canadian embassy to correct this inaccuracy.”

This afternoon the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C., sent out a press release to deny the CTV report.

“The Canadian Embassy confirms that at no time has any member of a Presidential campaign called the Canadian Ambassador or any official at the Embassy to discuss NAFTA,” the statement read. “Last night the Canadian television network CTV, falsely reported that such calls had been made. That story is untrue. Neither before nor since the Ohio debate has any presidential campaign called Ambassador Wilson or the Embassy to raise NAFTA.”

The Canadian embassy is pro actively reaching out to the campaigns “all the time,” Norton said, to try to meet with aides who might form the foreign and economic policy teams of any future administration.

“We talk about the whole range of Canada-U.S. issues which we think it’s critically important that the presidential candidates be aware of including the number of jobs that depend in the United States on Canada-U.S. trade.”

The Canadian Embassy says there are more than seven million jobs in the U.S. that depend on trade with Canada.

“We discuss our view that NAFTA has been very good for all three participating countries and has made the continent more competitive in the face of China, India, Brazil,” Norton said.

Dammit. This is what happens when your read that trash Republican “Daily-Kos” wanna-be website. I read this story originally here and here. Redstate is now pushing out the conspiracy theory that the Canadian government doesn’t want to be seen as an agency involved with US politics. Redstate is pushing this YouTube from this link:

FruitFly 6On Blogs4McCain, a blog-site where Nursing Home patients learn how to use a computer mouse and “Monitor” can sometimes mean a “tee-vee” screen, they’re publishing something completely out of touch with the Obama/NAFTA story with this (piece of crap).

I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning. It’s what I get for reading Redstate without wearing my radiation suit and UV goggles on…

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