Thomas Gallatin / Jul. 28, 2016

McAuliffe: Clinton Does and Doesn't Support TPP

The Clintonista unwittingly exposes Hillary's waffling on trade.

Who needs enemies when one has friends like Terry McAuliffe? At least that’s what Hillary may be saying to herself. McAuliffe, current governor of Virginia and long-time supporter and friend of the Clintons, certainly made a mess of things for Hillary. Responding to a reporter’s question on the Trans-Pacific-Partnership trade deal, McAuliffe said, “I worry that if we don’t do TPP, at some point China’s going to break the rules — but Hillary understands this.” Wait, what? Clinton has been campaigning against the TPP. Has she changed her mind again? When the reporter pressed as to whether this meant a President Clinton would support the TPP, McAuliffe continued, “Yes. Listen, she was in support of it. There were specific things in it she wants fixed.” Oops! Looks like McAuliffe just let the cat out of the bag.

Cue damage control. Later a spokesman for McAuliffe sought to clarify the remark saying, “While Governor McAuliffe is a supporter of the TPP, he has no expectation Secretary Clinton would change her position on the legislation and she has never told him anything to that effect.” In other words, “Nothing to see here; move along.”

So what’s Clinton’s actual position? The paperback edition of her book “Hard Choices” (released in 2015) was missing a section that detailed her work in negotiating with other nations to join the TPP. A statement printed in the book said that “96 pages” were cut “to accommodate a shorter length for this edition.” Part of what was deleted from the original version read, “[We encourage] all open-market democracies driving toward a more prosperous future to join negotiations with Asian nations on TPP, the trans-Pacific trade agreement.” On top of this, Clinton was quoted in 2012 saying that the TPP is the “gold standard” of trade agreements. Now that she’s running for president, she “can’t support this agreement.”

It’s not that McAuliffe was wrong, it’s that he spoke too soon. It’s quite clear that Clinton wants to be able to say one thing and do another. Just don’t let folks know that’s the plan.

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