"[Goolsbee] was frank in saying that the primary campaign has been necessarily domestically focused, particularly in the Midwest, and that much of the rhetoric that may be perceived to be protectionist is more reflective of political maneuvering than policy... On NAFTA, Goolsbee suggested that Obama is less about fundamentally changing the agreement and more in favour of strengthening/clarifying language on labour mobility and environment and trying to establish these as more 'core' principles of the agreement...Goolsbee, now admitting that the meeting took place, says they've mischaracterized his comments. There's certainly the possibility that he could be right: the Canadian government might be attempting to harm Obama's chances by releasing an inaccurate memo. That needs to be considered.
...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."
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. 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.UPDATE 2: For perhaps the first time ever, the MSM has decided to ask Obama some tough questions. Why they'd start doing it now is unknown. However, he was asked not just about NAFTAGate but about his links to Tony Rezko as well, and it's now being presented as him "tangling" with the press who asked him a "barrage of questions" (link). There's video here.
Politics · Mon, 03/03/2008 - 10:18 · Importance: 4