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June 18, 2008 at 19:18 PM EDT
Republican National Committee: Obama vs. Obama on NAFTA

Obama Now Admits His Attacks On NAFTA Were "Overheated And Amplified"

WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While Campaigning In Ohio, Obama Repeatedly Attacked NAFTA As Bad For America And Threatened To Unilaterally Withdraw From The Free Trade Agreement:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/RNCLOGO )

In February, Obama Pledged To Renegotiate NAFTA With The Threat Of Withdrawing Unless It Was Renegotiated. "In their final head-to-head meeting before Tuesday's Ohio and Texas primaries, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) declared that they would opt out of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico unless those two countries renegotiated the pact's labor and environmental provisions to the United States' liking." (Editorial, "At Best, A Pander," The Washington Post, 3/1/08)

Obama: "I Don't Think NAFTA Has Been Good For America - And I Never Have." Obama: "Ten years after NAFTA passed, Senator Clinton said it was good for America. ... Well, I don't think NAFTA has been good for America - and I never have." (David Espo, "Obama Hits Clinton On NAFTA Support," The Associated Press, 2/24/08)

Now, In The General Election, Obama Backed Off His Pledge To Unilaterally Reopen NAFTA And Admitted His Rhetoric Had Been "Overheated And Amplified":

"In An Interview With Fortune To Be Featured In The Magazine's Upcoming Issue, The Presumptive Democratic Nominee Backed Off His Harshest Attacks On The Free Trade Agreement And Indicated He Didn't Want To Unilaterally Reopen Negotiations On NAFTA." (Nina Easton, "Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All," Fortune, 6/18/08)

"Now, However, Obama Says He Doesn't Believe In Unilaterally Reopening NAFTA. On The Afternoon That I Sat Down With Him To Discuss The Economy, Obama Said He Had Just Spoken With Harper, Who Had Called To Congratulate Him On Winning The Nomination." (Nina Easton, "Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All," Fortune, 6/18/08)

? Obama: "I'm not a big believer in doing things unilaterally. ... I'm a big believer in opening up a dialogue and figuring out how we can make this work for all people." (Nina Easton, "Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All," Fortune, 6/18/08)

Obama Admitted His Primary Rhetoric Was "Overheated And Amplified." "'Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,' he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA 'devastating' and 'a big mistake,' despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy." (Nina Easton, "Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All," Fortune, 6/18/08)

FLASHBACK: In February, A Canadian Consulate Memo Revealed Obama's Top Economic Adviser Told Canada His NAFTA Rhetoric Was "More Reflective Of Political Maneuvering Than Policy":

A Canadian Consulate Memo Noted Obama's Top Economic Adviser Austan Goolsbee Said Obama's Rhetoric On NAFTA Was More About Politics Than Policy. "On Feb. 8, Goolsbee met with the Canadian consul general in Chicago and offered assurances that Obama's rhetoric was 'more reflective of political maneuvering than policy,' according to a Canadian memo summarizing the meeting that was obtained by Fortune. 'In fact,' the Canadian memo said, Goolsbee 'mentioned that going forward the Obama camp was going to be careful to send the appropriate message without coming off as too protectionist.'" (Nina Easton, "Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All," Fortune, 6/18/08)

A Product Of The RNC Research Department

www.gop.com

Source: Republican National Committee

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