Obama Misleads on Clinton’s Positions

The Obama campaign continues to recycle right wing talking points about Hillary. Among the latest was a claim that Clinton supported NAFTA.

A little more than a year ago,” an Obama mailer reads, “Hillary Clinton thought NAFTA was a ‘boon’ to the economy.” The piece goes on to argue that the New York Senator is “changing her tune” now that she’s campaigning in the Buckeye State.

But, Hillary Clinton didn’t support NAFTA, as Sam Stein points out on the HuffPo and Obama’s recent mailer stating that she did is incredibly misleading:

The attack is, most observers say, misleading. The “boon” line, a paraphrase lifted from a September 2006 Newsday article, has yet to be confirmed as an authentic quote. But, more importantly, the mailer misrepresents what former Clinton administration officials and biographers say was Hillary Clinton’s long-held opposition to the legislation.

“In August in 92, we had to make a decision,” Mickey Kantor the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Clinton adviser, and free trade advocate recalled for the Huffington Post. “President Clinton had to make a decision as governor, whether or not he would support [George H.W. Bush’s] NAFTA, and of course he did… Hillary Clinton was one of the great skeptics in the discussion as to whether he should do. So she was always skeptical beginning in 1992 and onward.”

Indeed, as Kantor went on to note, Hillary Clinton long held reservations over the labor and environmental fallouts of the free trade agreement. In addition, she was, at the time, eager to see her health care reform (not NAFTA) pushed through Congress. As such, Clinton biographer Sally Bedell Smith writes in her book “For Love of Politics,” her disapproval of the trade agreement was both political and philosophical.

Clinton, it should be noted, also “voted against CAFTA [the Central American Free Trade Agreement] because of a lack of environmental and labor standards.” 

More of the same from the Obama campaign — putting out misleading information on Hillary Clinton while claiming to be taking the high road. You’re not taking the high road if you are misleading on your opponent’s positions. Some of us see through this… Read Jeromen Armstrong on Obama’s (a tad on the defensive side) Wisconsin ad.

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2 Responses to Obama Misleads on Clinton’s Positions

  1. I have said for months, to you and others, Obama is an old school politician that’s using old school techniques including misleading statements, passive aggressive language and cash to get votes.

    He knew, apparently, or at least planned for the Superdelegate race for 2 years.

    Bullshit this is a ‘new style, new era’ guy. This is a Tony Robbins graduate, no bad thing in itself, that has learned how to project a specfic image and has retained the best product marketing team in the Biz.

    And the product ISN”T Obama….it is ‘change’ and ‘hope’. Words that means nothing of substance. They are emotional appeals. Appeals at call to the frustration we all feel.

    He’s old school in every sense of the word. And this tactic, quite effectively done, for two years proves it.

  2. There has been a dramatic increase in world trade, globalization, or whtever you want to call it. Given the alternative, I believe this to be a positive trend. Prosperity clearly needs to be widely spread, and people making things in Third World countries to be sold in the few developed parts of the planet is a necessary part of the process. My personal impression is that NAFTA has facilitated this, and, as such, might be labeled a “necessary evil”. This is a complicated area and it has ben true in the past that the phrase “labor and environmental protections” has been code for protectionism.

    Like so much, the devil is in the details. However, when I hear things simplified to the point of “support for NAFTA – bad” I get nervous.