From CTV News, "[T]he 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. [That exchange speaks volumes.]
That is tonight's top CTV TV story, watched by millions of Canadians and U.S. citizens near the Canadian border. ...
CTV News, an internationally respected national Canadian television and print news service, has reconfirmed its story with its top-level sources, and stands by its original report which I wrote up earlier in "Shocker: Obama Campaign Reveals Fake Stand on NAFTA [Video UPDATE]" and which Taylor Marsh stood by all day after calling CTV directly (despite taking heat after the MSM caved and scurried away).
Here's the scoop on the CTV reports FROM A MAN WHO witnessed how Sen. Barack Obama stiffed Illinois' machinists: "I am appalled but not surprised by this report," said IAM International [Machinists] President Tom Buffenbarger. "Working families cannot trust a candidate who telegraphs his real position to a foreign government and then dissembles in a nationally televised debate." -- February 28, 2008
Below, I've posted remarks from Dr Carolyn, a Canadian physician who has followed this story intently, as well as details of Obama's highly disturbing U.S. Senate vote against the Dorgan Amendment (which Hillary Clinton voted for).
First, here is more from the CTV print story confirmation, "Opponents slam Obama after CTV story on NAFTA":
... On Wednesday, CTV reported that a senior member of Obama's campaign called the Canadian embassy within the last month.
The official said that when Senator Obama talks about opting out of the free trade deal, the Canadian government shouldn't worry. The operative said it was just campaign rhetoric. ...
On Thursday, the Canadian embassy in Washington issued a complete denial. [...]
But just yesterday, one of the primary sources of the story, a high-ranking member of the Canadian embassy, gave CTV more details of the call. He even provided a timeline. He has since suggested it was perhaps a miscommunication. [Right -- stepping back is part of a diplomat's maneuvers.]
Sources at the highest levels of the Canadian government -- who first told CTV that a call was made from the Obama camp -- have reconfirmed their position.
Here are the remarks of Dr Carolyn, a Canadian physician who is tracking this story and who contacted CTV today to confirm today. (She also posted a story at No Quarter earlier today.) From an e-mail to me tonight, reprinted with her express permission:
"NAFTA, YOU HAFTA?"
Barack Obama is coming under fire over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
For a second day in a row, Canadian television plans to report that a top Obama aide told the Canadian ambassador not to take at face value Obama's anti-NAFTA rhetoric. "The facts of the story are accurate and CTV National News will be reporting on the story again tonight," said CTV vice president Wendy Freeman in a Thursday statement.
Keying off the Canadian television report, John McCain said Thursday that Obama was not being straight with voters.
"I don't think it's appropriate to go to Ohio and tell people one thing while you're aide is calling the Canadian ambassador and telling him something else," said McCain. Both the Canadian embassy and Sen. Obama have denied the veracity of CTV's report. But even Obama's Alabam chairman has cast doubt on the wisdom of renegotiating NAFTA.
"I'm not a fan for reopening agreements we have negotiated because the rest of the world thinks that we don't keep our word enough as it is," said Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., on Monday during a congressional debate held at The George Washington University.
"I think Sen. Obama better stay focused on his campaign with Sen. Clinton." --President Bush at Thursday's press conference "
Here's Robert, another correspondent, on Obama's vote against the amendment sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) in the 109th Session:
On Protecting American Jobs: MORE MENDACITY FROM OBAMA ON HIS TRADE RECORD
I love CTV but we need look no further than the old Senate Vote record to see that Obama is full of shit on trade.
HE MUST explain this vote and be held accountable for his "excellent judgement". VOTE #232, ON THE DORGAN AMENDMENT #1665 To prohibit weakening any law that provides safeguards from unfair foreign trade practices. It is a smoking gun to show that he is completely full of shit when he talks about wanting to protect american workers and start enforcing our trade agreements.
Some Context behind this. This vote occurred as the DOHA round on trade was being negotiated. Negotiations that would determine American trade policy in the years to come. It was year number 5 of the Bush Administration, we've reached record levels of trade deficit, the manufacturing sector was being decimated, and it was clear that the Bush Administration could not be trusted to represent the interests of the U.S. worker in trade negotiations.
Senator Dorgan offered a simple amendment to the Commerce Justice and State Appropriations Bill, S.Amdt. 1665 in the 109th Congress, which basically would have made it illegal for the Bush Administration to that agree to terms that would weaken ALREADY EXISTING protections in trade law, like countervailing and anti dumping duties on nations that dump cheap products in the U.S. to undermine our products and our workers.
So basically it was a stop Bush now before he kills again amendment. (I would also add that without Senator Obama's help in 2002, the Senate passed a similar provision.)
Dorgan made CLEAR what his amendment was about. It was about standing up for American workers, and telling our trade partners that we would not be played for suckers in these trade negotiations, and that people that care about U.S. workers wouldn't trust President Bush to negotiate a $20 BJ let alone negotiate away the only protections which meant the difference between clinging to life and pulling the plug on the American worker.
[ROBERT then quotes Sen. Dorgan's floor speech, and continues.]
AND SENATOR OBAMA VOTED NO. HE DIDN'T VOTE PRESENT, HE DIDN'T PUSH THE WRONG BUTTON, HE VOTED NO.
Why did he vote no? I'll provide his defense in the words of the amendment's chief opponent, Senator Grassley of Iowa (R)
Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to vote against this amendment, No. 1, because Commerce Secretary Gutierrez and Mr. Portman, our Trade Representative, have said they are going to recommend a veto of the bill if the Dorgan amendment is adopted.
(YUP. WISE PRESIDENT BUSH AND HIS CEO COMMERCE SECRETARY, AND HIS HACK REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN TRADE REP WHO HAVE DONE SUCH A SMASH UP JOB OF ENFORCING CURRENT TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH PROTECTIONS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS, SAID HE WOULD VETO THIS BILL IF IT DIDN'T ALLOW HIM TO GUT THOSE U.S. PROTECTIONS SO LET'S JUST GIVE HIM A PASS ON THIS ONE.)
"Also, I have these organizations that have sent a letter in opposition to the amendment. The organizations include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Peanut Product Manufacturers, Inc., the American Soybean Association, the Corn Refiners Association, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the Food Products Association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the International Dairy Foods Association, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Corn Growers Association, et cetera, et cetera--with about eight more I could read."
If this is the new politics and the change we've been waiting for, then yes I can tell Barack Obama that he is completely full of shit.
Remember: Sen. Hillary Clinton voted FOR Sen. Dorgan's amendment.
Think about the CTV reports. Think about Robert's report on the Dorgan amendment. Consider who we want to be our president.
If you're not on fire yet, watch Machinists president Tom Buffenbarger on how Sen. Obama stabbed Illinois' Maytag workers in the back.
And, here again, is my original story Thursday, "Shocker: Obama Campaign Reveals Fake Stand on NAFTA [Video UPDATE]."