Obama NAFTA Flap about ready to explode

This is all the more incredible because it has now been confirmed.

At Tuesday night's debate, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama traded charges that the other was not serious about reforming NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement. Unions have been up in arms about the treaty for years because it rewards the mostly non union labor in Mexico while taking union jobs away from Americans - at least in theory. There have been no definitive studies showing NAFTA is a negative for the American worker.

Regardless, both candidates trashed the agreement and said they would reopen it to renegotiation. But Obama went a step further; according to Canadian TV he actually had one of his primary aides get in touch with the Canadian government and assure them that Obama was just demagoguing the issue and that he would not press for any major changes.

The Obama camp denied this story and called it a smear. Evidently CTV doesn't like being referred to as a liar because they have released the information that the Obama camp couldn't afford to have out there - the name of the Obama aide who spoke to the Canadian government:

The Obama campaign told CTV late Thursday night that no message was passed to the Canadian government that suggests that Obama does not mean what he says about opting out of NAFTA if it is not renegotiated.

However, the Obama camp did not respond to repeated questions from CTV on reports that a conversation on this matter was held between Obama's senior economic adviser -- Austan Goolsbee -- and the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago.

Earlier Thursday, the Obama campaign insisted that no conversations have taken place with any of its senior ranks and representatives of the Canadian government on the NAFTA issue.

On Thursday night, CTV spoke with Goolsbee, but he refused to say whether he had such a conversation with the Canadian government office in Chicago. He also said he has been told to direct any questions to the campaign headquarters.
CTV is also reporting that their high level source in the Canadian government is reconfirming the visit by the Obama staffer.

This idiotic gaffe could easily cost Obama Ohio. And the Clinton campaign has a ready made issue of honesty and integrity fall right into their lap.

Goolsbee is Obama's Senior Economic Advisor so it's not like the campaign could argue he went rogue on them. It's just one more piece of evidence that far from being an "Agent of Change" Obama is a politics as usual sort of guy.

Whether his supporters start realizing that is unkown.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Update: From Instapundit

At least we're learning which bunch of rubes is being fooled. Coming next -- an Obama adviser tells the Iraqi government not to pay attention to his troop-withdrawal talk?

UPDATE: At U.S. News, James Pethokoukis on Obama vs. Obama on trade.

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