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View Full Version : Both sides of Obama's mouth: The NAFTA Edition


patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:33 PM
On the one hand, Obama is telling voters in Ohio that he's willing to "opt out" of NAFTA unless Canada agrees to significant changes to the agreement, but on the other hand, his senior economic policy advisor, Austan Goolsbee, is meeting with Canadian officials privately and reassuring them that Obama's comments should be seen as political rather than taken as policy statements. Sounds like double talk to me.

Of course, this is embarrassing to the politician who isn't about politics-as-usual so the Obama camp has issued a series of denials. Each time an old denial is found to be inaccurate, TeamObama audaciously ignore their earlier statements and instead they retrench and issue a new denial to take into account the fresh facts. I guess they figure that as long as people aren't paying too much attention, one of the denials will stick and the others will be forgotten.



***To be continued in Post #2***

patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:34 PM
When Canada's CTV (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080228/turkey_Gates_080228/20080229?hub=QPeriod) first broke the story, the Obama camp issued blanket denials:

"There has been no such contact." - Top Obama adviser Susan Rice, Thursday night on MSNBC

“It did not happen.” - Barack Obama, Friday

But it did happen. Reports soon indicated that the person involved in the meetings with Canadian officials was Obama's Senior Economic Advisor Austan Goolsbee. Goolsbee, a good soldier, probably horrified by the attention, attempted to give the impression of denying it:

“It is a totally inaccurate story. I did not call these people.” - Austan Goolsbee to The New York Observer

Apparently the Obama camp was hoping at this point that they could just keep denying and the story would blow over. Unfortunately for them, the Associated Press got their hands on a memo written by one of the Canadian officials, Joseph DeMora, who was present during the meetings. Goolsbee may not have "call[ed]" these people, but he did meet with them as evidenced by the DeMora memo. And how inaccurate were the original reports? According to the memo, not very:

"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." - DeMora memo reported by AP

So now that he'd been found out, Goolsbee implicitly acknowledges taking part in the meeting but again issues a nondenial denial:

"He's not quoting me. I certainly did not use that phrase in any way," Goolsbee commenting to the AP on DeMora's memo

Of course, no one had ever claimed that he'd been quoted. Shortly after the AP's report about the memo came out, Obama's political machine was still trying to deny that the meeting even happened:

“This conversation has been discredited by the Canadian government, it has been discredited by our campaign. It is simply a conversation that did not happen.” - Top Obama aide David Plouffe speaking to reporters on a conference call Monday

But we already know that it did happen. Goolsbee implicitly admits it happened (although he denies calling the Canadians and he denies that DeMora is directly quoting him).

After further questioning by reporters on the conference call, Plouffe admits that it's not as simple as he first claimed. He admits that the conversation actually did happen, but that reports about the nature of the conversation are inaccurate. He goes on to dispute the reason for the meeting:

This was not a formal meeting. This was essentially a tour, and Austan was approached not as a member of our campaign but as a university professor. - Top Obama aide David Plouffe speaking to reporters on a conference call Monday

But that's not what the Canadians say:

The Canadian Embassy and our Consulates General regularly contact those involved in all of the presidential campaigns and, periodically, report on these contacts to interested officials. - Canadian government statement released Monday

So Goolsbee was contacted specifically because he was involved in a presidential campaign afterall. Contrary to David Plouffe's earlier statement, Goolsbee was there as a Senior Economic Advisor of Senator Obama's, not as a university professor. Maybe he was off the reservation. Maybe David Axelrod wasn't directly pulling Goolsbee's strings at the time. But it's not plausible IMO that Goolsbee is completely out of touch with Obama's economic policy, given his position in the campaign.

And what about the statements from the Canadian government that "seem" to support some of the Obama denials?

In the recent report produced by the Consulate General in Chicago, there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA. We deeply regret any inference that may have been drawn to that effect.

Intent and regret aside, the words of the report as conveyed by the AP speak for themselves. If the Canadians had wanted to, they could have been much more direct with their statement in order to be clear that no such comments were ever made. If one thing can be relied upon in this whole story, it's that the Canadian government took care to say exactly what they wanted to and that for some reason they chose not to deny the substance of the inferences which have been drawn but instead to merely deny a particular intention and to regret the inferences. You'd have to be blinded by Obama's divine light to avoid the obvious conclusions.

Byron York - Is Obama Lying About NAFTAGate? (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MWNjOGQ1MDI4NjViMWQwMGM0MmZkMzNkMzY2NTU2NjY=)

Associate Press - Canadian Memo Recounts Meeting (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jrFPkleRZmbmPtPxHBGNAPSzfUtwD8V658RO0)

HolmeZz
03-04-2008, 02:36 PM
I'm surprised it took you so long to run with it. I'm also surprised you decided to run with it after the Canadian Government came out and said the stuff about NAFTA wasn't true.

SBK
03-04-2008, 02:37 PM
Pat is a racist.

Cochise
03-04-2008, 02:41 PM
shun the non-believer!

patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:45 PM
I'm surprised it took you so long to run with it. I'm also surprised you decided to run with it after the Canadian Government came out and said the stuff about NAFTA wasn't true.

What can I say? I guess I'm lazy and I've had a few other things to do. I planned on making a post a day or two ago called "Both Sides of Obama's Mouth: Public Campaign Finance Edition" but I never got around to it. Thankfully, the public financing flip flop wasn't the only example of Obama duplicity.

And of course, the Canadian Government backed down from their original statement of denial and issued a much more "nuanced" statement which fails to address the substance of the reported meeting or even the substance of the memo that documents the meeting.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:46 PM
Pat is a racist.

LOL, how can I be a racist? I sport a black man in my avatar. :)

HolmeZz
03-04-2008, 02:47 PM
And of course, the Canadian Government backed down from their original statement of denial and issued a much more "nuanced" statement which fails to address the substance of the reported meeting or even the substance of the memo that documents the meeting.

I know it sucks to have your whole topic thwarted so early on. I anticipate better threads from you in the future.

FD
03-04-2008, 02:49 PM
Frankly, this makes me think more highly of Obama. I found his NAFTA-bashing very disappointing and am glad to know he's not serious about it.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:49 PM
I know it sucks to have your whole topic thwarted so early on. I anticipate better threads from you in the future.

Obama's got you in a trance.

Chiefnj2
03-04-2008, 02:52 PM
From the man who says Romney didn't flip-flop.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:52 PM
Frankly, this makes me think more highly of Obama. I found his NAFTA-bashing very disappointing and am glad to know he's not serious about it.

I don't disagree with your sentiment. Apparently there's some of the same thing (i.e. the back channel reassurances) going on with Hillary. I don't think we're in for a serious reversal on our trade policy with any of the 3 candidates.

This thread is more about Obama's character than it is about trade policy. He seems to have the character of a regular politician, which ought to be disappointing to those who see him as a new-breed, tone-changing, unifying, redeemer.

chiefforlife
03-04-2008, 02:54 PM
Perhaps this should be titled : "Both sides of the Canadian governments mouth"

patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:54 PM
From the man who says Romney didn't flip-flop.

I'm the guy who said Romney's reputation as a flip flopper was way overblown. I never denied, for example, that his abortion position had evolved over the past decade. But no need to get sidetracked on Romney.

HolmeZz
03-04-2008, 02:55 PM
Obama's got you in a trance.

Nope. They flubbed the talk about the occurrence, but the hypocrisy you're accusing his campaign of had already been 'denounced and rejected' by the mothercanuckers.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:56 PM
Perhaps this should be titled : "Both sides of the Canadian governments mouth"

It surely could be, but being an American, I'm not nearly as interested in the Canadian government's insincerity as I am in Obama's.

chiefforlife
03-04-2008, 02:57 PM
Nope. They flubbed the talk about the occurrence, but the hypocrisy you're accusing his campaign of had already been 'denounced and rejected' by the mothercanuckers.

That is FUNNY in so many ways!:clap:

patteeu
03-04-2008, 02:59 PM
Nope. They flubbed the talk about the occurrence, but the hypocrisy you're accusing his campaign of had already been 'denounced and rejected' by the mothercanuckers.

I think the memo speaks for itself and as far as I'm aware, your characterization of the Canadian government's response is clearly incorrect.

HolmeZz
03-04-2008, 03:03 PM
It surely could be, but being an American, I'm not nearly as interested in the Canadian government's insincerity as I am in Obama's.

Or Clinton's apparently, since she was accused of the same thing.

http://www.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=921485

"CTV also quoted low-level sources stating the Clinton campaign made indirect contact with the Canadian government to reassure Ottawa about her support of NAFTA"

irishjayhawk
03-04-2008, 03:14 PM
I'm the guy who said Romney's reputation as a flip flopper was way overblown. I never denied, for example, that his abortion position had evolved over the past decade. But no need to get sidetracked on Romney.

While not wrong, I love the word choice here: evolve. Versus, you know, flip flop.

Having said that, I think the flip-flop argument is one of the dumbest arguments ever. It takes zero changes of the facts into account. It's just labeled "flopped from x position", with no reason as to why and if there is a reason it's added AFTER someone's accused him of being a flip flopper.

chiefforlife
03-04-2008, 03:18 PM
It surely could be, but being an American, I'm not nearly as interested in the Canadian government's insincerity as I am in Obama's.

I would agree if it were true.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 03:23 PM
Or Clinton's apparently, since she was accused of the same thing.

http://www.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=921485

"CTV also quoted low-level sources stating the Clinton campaign made indirect contact with the Canadian government to reassure Ottawa about her support of NAFTA"

Yeah, I already mentioned Hillary in post #12. But it's not news that Hillary is a double-dealing, deceitful, snake-in-the-grass. This thread is focused on stripping away the aura and showing Obama for what he is.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 03:26 PM
While not wrong, I love the word choice here: evolve. Versus, you know, flip flop.

Having said that, I think the flip-flop argument is one of the dumbest arguments ever. It takes zero changes of the facts into account. It's just labeled "flopped from x position", with no reason as to why and if there is a reason it's added AFTER someone's accused him of being a flip flopper.

If I understand you correctly, I agree that the term "flip flop" can be abused. For what it's worth, I think it would be misused in Obama's NAFTA situation because this is a case where Obama was taking two distinctly different positions at the same time. Can't really call that a flip-flop.

Otter
03-04-2008, 03:26 PM
If someone can explain the differences between Clinton and Obama beside one being white and having a vagina and the other being black and having a penis to me I'd really appreciate it.

chiefforlife
03-04-2008, 03:28 PM
Pat, "This thread is focused on stripping away the aura and showing Obama for what he is."

I would say it worked, he was exposed for the truth speaker that he is.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 03:29 PM
If someone can explain the differences between Clinton and Obama beside one being white and having a vagina and the other being black and having a penis to me I'd really appreciate it.

Clinton = Evil incarnate.

Obama = All that is good in the world... and ready to do to NAFTA whatever it is that *you* want him to.

That's all you need to know.

StcChief
03-04-2008, 03:33 PM
Clinton = Evil incarnate.

Obama = All that is good in the world... and ready to do to NAFTA whatever it is that *you* want him to.

That's all you need to know. he's just that "silver tongued devil" we all new would show up.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 03:33 PM
Pat, "This thread is focused on stripping away the aura and showing Obama for what he is."

I would say it worked, he was exposed for the truth speaker that he is.

Hahaha. You Obama guys will say just about anything won't you?

|Zach|
03-04-2008, 03:34 PM
If someone can explain the differences between Clinton and Obama beside one being white and having a vagina and the other being black and having a penis to me I'd really appreciate it.

Wouldn't want you to get hurt trying to figure something out for yourself or??

Chief Faithful
03-04-2008, 03:37 PM
If I understand you correctly, I agree that the term "flip flop" can be abused. For what it's worth, I think it would be misused in Obama's NAFTA situation because this is a case where Obama was taking two distinctly different positions at the same time. Can't really call that a flip-flop.

Agreed, flip-flop is not the right phrase instead I would term it "pandering".

irishjayhawk
03-04-2008, 04:52 PM
Hahaha. You Obama guys will say just about anything won't you?

Now, now, I don't think you can say that when you tirelessly defend Bush and Cheney on just about anything and everything.

patteeu
03-04-2008, 04:57 PM
Now, now, I don't think you can say that when you tirelessly defend Bush and Cheney on just about anything and everything.

Thankfully, I never had to defend Bush and Cheney from charges of telling voters that they were willing to "opt out" of NAFTA to win votes while privately telling the Canadians or Mexicans not to worry about it because it was just meaningless campaign rhetoric.

SBK
03-04-2008, 04:58 PM
If someone can explain the differences between Clinton and Obama beside one being white and having a vagina and the other being black and having a penis to me I'd really appreciate it.

They're both anything you need them to be.

BucEyedPea
03-04-2008, 05:27 PM
Thankfully, I never had to defend Bush and Cheney from charges of telling voters that they were willing to "opt out" of NAFTA to win votes while privately telling the Canadians or Mexicans not to worry about it because it was just meaningless campaign rhetoric.
You might have to defend Gingrich for promising this "opt out" per an interview I read on Ron Paul.

StcChief
03-04-2008, 11:29 PM
Obama's got you in a trance.and sadly there's plenty more with the deer in headlights look.

Guru
03-04-2008, 11:32 PM
So, you're saying a politician lied? WOW!!!!

patteeu
03-05-2008, 07:11 AM
So, you're saying a politician lied? WOW!!!!

Yep. Just a regular politician afterall.

NewChief
03-05-2008, 07:13 AM
Yep. Just a regular politician afterall.

Your ever increasing obsession with discrediting Obama and his supporters gives me confidence that I've picked the right horse in this race. ;)