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Thursday, March 20, 2008

NAFTA Comes Home to Roost

by Al Giordano, The Field

The spin prior to the Ohio primary was dizzying: Senator Clinton delivered her angry “shame on you, Barack Obama” rant in response to two Obama campaign mailers, one of which had reminded that Clinton had supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the treaty that has destroyed entire industries (and the families that worked them) in the United States and in Mexico.

Former Clinton White House aides then moved out in wedge formation to claim that Senator Clinton had, while First Lady, opposed NAFTA (critics noting that those surrogates were pro-NAFTA and therefore not credible were widely ignored).

Today the narrative turned a reality-based about-face: ABC News reports that, as First Lady, on November 10, 1993 - 51 days before the treaty would take effect - Clinton had actively promoted NAFTA, a fact revealed in the release today of 11,000+ pages of White House schedules for that era:

Two attendees of that closed-door briefing, neither of whom are affiliated with any campaign, describe that event for ABC News. It was a room full of women involved in international trade. David Gergen served as a sort of master of ceremonies as various women members of the Cabinet talked up NAFTA, which had yet to pass Congress.

“It wasn’t a drop-by it was organized around her participation,” said one attendee. “Her remarks were totally pro-NAFTA and what a good thing it would be for the economy. There was no equivocation for her support for NAFTA at the time.

This is absolutely of no surprise to all of us that have followed the destructive path of NAFTA over the past 14 years. But The Field wonders: shouldn’t those who went out there and mouthed the false talking points and claims that Senator Clinton had opposed NAFTA now feel embarrassed, duped, and angry at how they were fed a deception to repeat? There ought to be some accountability here.

Update: This post has been up for only a matter of minutes and Field hands are not disappointing! In the comments section they’ve unearthed this video of former Clinton White House press aid David Gergen on TV this year claiming that Senator Clinton had opposed NAFTA back then… but today’s White House schedule documents show that Gergen was the EmCee of the very November 10, 1993 event where Senator Clinton promoted NAFTA. Wow. Watch the video in that context:

Update 1: So which is it Mr. Geren did Hillary support NAFTA or not?

Update2: Did Hillary Lie to America about Support for NAFTA?

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