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March 03, 2008

Memo - Obama adviser Goolsbee said NAFTA position was political rhetoric. Karl Rove blamed (chad)

To refresh everyone's memory - After last weeks NAFTA bashing by both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama CTV reported that an Obama adviser had made contact with the Canadian government telling them to expect the bashing but not to worry it was all just rhetoric.

The Obama campaign and the Canadian embassy promptly denied the reports so CTV named names specifically Austan Goolsbee, the senior economic policy adviser for the Obama campaign.

Now in spite of continued denials from the Obama campaign a memo has emerged which backs the CTV story:

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) - Barack Obama's senior economic policy adviser said Sunday that Canadian government officials wrote an inaccurate portrayal of his private discussion on the campaign's trade policy in a memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The memo is the first documentation to emerge publicly out of the meeting between the adviser, Austan Goolsbee, and officials with the Canadian consulate in Chicago, but Goolsbee said it misinterprets what he told them. The memo was written by Joseph DeMora, who works for the consulate and attended the meeting.

Goolsbee disputed a section that read: "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."

Goolsbee continues to deny that he made any such statement blaming the entire episode on a misunderstanding:

The memo obtained by the AP was widely distributed within the Canadian government. It is more than 1,300 words and covers many topics that DeMora said were discussed in the Feb. 8 "introductory meeting" between himself, Goolsbee and the consul general in Chicago, Georges Rioux.

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," the memo's introduction said. "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 said that sentence is true and consistent with Obama's position. But he said other portions of the memo were inaccurate.

...

The Canadian memo said that when Rioux "asked whether we could expect to hear more of this as the elections progressed, Goolsbee thought not. In fact, he mentioned that going forward the Obama camp was going to be careful to send the appropriate message without coming off too protectionist.

"As Obama continues to court the economic populist vote, particularly in upcoming contests like Ohio, we are likely to see a continuation of some of the messaging that hasn't played in Canada's favour, but this should continue to be viewed in the context in which it is delivered," DeMora wrote in the closing section.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Goolsbee's visit was not as an emissary from the campaign, but as a professor from the University of Chicago. He was not authorized to share any messages from the campaign, Burton said.

Burton, who was on the call while Goolsbee described his visit to the AP, said, "It all boils down to a clumsy, inaccurate portrayal of the conversation."

Asked if he agreed with Burton, Goolsbee said he did.

I'll let you guys decide who is more credible. The campaign spokesman and the policy adviser to the guy running for President, who is possibly damaged by this memo? Or, the people who wrote the memo, which was widely circulated in the Canadian government, and who are interested in maintaining the trade agreement? HMMMM that's quite the stumper!

OK we all know what really happened Karl Rove used his super mind control powers to make Goolsbee go to the Canadian consulate. He then influenced this DeMora guy to write this memo. Finally he called CTV and planted the story so that immediately prior to the Texas primary Hillary could make a comeback.

(Actually in comments on some left wing sites commenters really are suggesting Rove is behind this story. Is there no end to his nefarious scheming?)


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posted by xgenghisx at 04:25 AM

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