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View Diary: SMART Union Endorses Hillary Clinton for President (34 comments)

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  •  Sally Bedell Smith claims Hill was actually (12+ / 0-)

    opposed to NAFTA but Bill's economic advisors won out on that one.

    •  Very interesting, I hadn't heard that. Thanks! (11+ / 0-)

      From an interview with Russert a couple weeks ago:

      RUSSERT:  It’s been interesting in the campaign.  When necessary, Hillary Clinton has tried to separate herself from the former president on the issue of trade.  He was very much in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA.

      In your book, you talk about how Hillary Clinton resisted NAFTA and was a late convert to it.  Now, in her own campaign, she seems to be distinguishing her position from that of her husband’s.

      SMITH:  Yes.  It was a fascinating episode, and nobody had really gone into it before.  But, there was—in the summer of 1993, they had Hillary’s health care plan, they had NAFTA, and reinventing government initiative that were all sort of on the table together.  And the president and his advisers made the decision to go forward with getting NAFTA ratified.

      NAFTA came—it came out of the prior Bush administration.  It was really a Republican initiative.  But Bill Clinton believed in free trade and globalization.  And so he wanted to push NAFTA forward.

      And Hillary was really prepared to try and kill NAFTA.  Mickey Cantor had to take her out—who was one of their close friends...

      RUSSERT:  Special trade representative.

      SMITH:  Special trade representative.  He took her out behind the White House, sat her down on a bench, and said, we have to go first with NAFTA.  We can come back to health care later, but we have to do NAFTA because we need a success and we need a bipartisan success.  And he was absolutely right.  And what convinced her at the time was not necessarily the merits of NAFTA, but the fact that it was a good political decision.

      So, even then, she was not very much in favor of free trade.  And so she is consistent.  And Bill Clinton continues to be.  So, if they were both in the White House together, I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of that little fight.

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