Thursday, March 6, 2008

Obama's Stumble On NAFTA

No matter what your opinion of NAFTA is Barack Obama made a major mis-step in bad mouthing NAFTA in Ohio and then giving a wink-wink to Canada that he really didn't mean it. See the article below.

Obama says Canada ‘misreported’ NAFTA meeting with campaign adviser
Sheldon Alberts and Mike Blanchfield, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, March 06, 2008WASHINGTON - Barack Obama insisted yesterday that Canadian officials “misreported” details of a meeting with his senior economic adviser now being cited as a key reason he lost Ohio’s Democratic presidential primary to Hillary Clinton. Obama maintained his campaign was not at fault in the “NAFTA-gate” controversy and insisted he had no plans to fire economist Austan Goolsbee for his role in the affair.

In a memo leaked to the media last weekend, Canadian diplomats reported Goolsbee said Obama’s tough talk on NAFTA should be viewed more as “political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.” Media reports last night implicated Harper’s own chief of staff, saying he was the original source of the leak. Clinton seized on the reports and accused Obama of employing a “wink-wink” strategy — saying one thing about Nafta to voters in economically depressed Ohio, and another to foreign governments. Exit polls showed a sharp swing of support to Clinton in the final three days before voting, at the height of the publicity surrounding the controversy. In Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the leak of the Canadian memo was “blatantly unfair” to the Illinois senator’s White House bid. Harper also pledged a full investigation into how an account of the conversation between Goolsbee and Rioux became public on the eve of the Ohio primary. “We will take every step necessary to get to the bottom of this,” Harper told the House of Commons. “The way the leak was executed was blatantly unfair to Senator Obama and his campaign.”

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