Hillary's Youngstown Speech and NAFTA

Since the networks cut it off, here's the text of Hillary's new speech delivered in Youngstown, Ohio last night.

It seems to me the most prominent issue in the campaigns is now NAFTA and that it will be as important in Ohio as it was in Wisconsin.

Admittedly, it's an issue I know nothing about. But the sense I get from the media is that Obama has gained an edge on the issue by bashing Hillary because Bill Clinton pushed for NAFTA.

Last night, Hillary released a four point specific plan to fix the problems of NAFTA. It's in her speech and reprinted below and my questions are, what is Obama's specific plan, how does it differ from Hillary's and do they really differ on the issue? [More...]

Let's get real about NAFTA - it simply isn't working for all Americans. I'm not just going to talk about what's wrong with NAFTA, I'm going to fix it and I have a four-point plan to do exactly that.

First we'll have the strongest possible labor and environmental standards in the core NAFTA agreement.

Second, we wont let foreign countries undermine worker protection as they do right now. These companies can challenge American regulation intended to protect American workers and the environment. That is not acceptable and I will change that.

I will strengthen NAFTA's enforcement mechanisms to remove trade barriers and better protect American jobs.

And finally, we'll review this agreement and every other trade agreement regularly. If it's not raising living standards right here in America and protecting American workers, then we're not going to have it be a race to the bottom. We will never again let fourteen years go by without updating and modernizing our trade agreements.

My opponent has taken to attacking me on NAFTA. The fact is neither of us were in the Senate at the time and I've long been a critic of the shortcomings of NAFTA.

Again, my questions are: What is Obama's specific plan, how does it differ from Hillary's and do they really differ on the issue?

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    Jeralyn, (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by HeadScratcher on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:15:40 AM EST
    I know you like Sen. Clinton, but it's clouding your judgement.

    You stated that people are bashing Hillary for NAFTA because it was Bill who signed it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to putting the onus on him and exonerating her. You can't have it both ways. Either she was side by side and has the experience and knowledge from that experience or she doesn't. You can't pick and choose different parts of Bill's 8 years to prove her qualifications.

    She says she's a fighter for the working class, but why didn't she fight when her husband signed NAFTA?

    not really (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:17:38 AM EST
    some things she worked on and some things she did not. There should be a record somewhere.

    There is (none / 0) (#20)
    by muffie on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:40:24 AM EST
    her daily schedule from her time in the White House, but it has not been released yet.

    How convenient.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:49:53 AM EST
    I am sure people will call for it's release if she enters the general.

    Obama doesn't appear to need it right now.


    daily schedule (none / 0) (#36)
    by diogenes on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:47:32 PM EST
    If it would have helped one iota, Hillary would have released the daily schedule by now.

    She doesn't have to own... (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by CathyinLa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:30:46 AM EST
    ...everything from the Clinton presidency.  If you are saying it's fair to tie NAFTA to her because of Bill, then yes, it's fair.  But, it's not hypocritical or two faced for her to have a different view about NAFTA than her husband had.

    Right... (none / 0) (#25)
    by mindfulmission on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:52:35 AM EST
    ... she only has to own all the good things, and disown all the bad things.

    It is convenient that way!


    Then Obama has to own (none / 0) (#28)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:20:02 PM EST
    everything done by the Daley machine.

    You really don't want to go there.


    Does Obama cite Daley as part of his experience? (none / 0) (#37)
    by JJE on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:29:40 PM EST
    if not, then this analogy doesn't work

    what? (none / 0) (#38)
    by mindfulmission on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:32:41 PM EST
    What are you talking about?  When did Obama work for Daley?  When has Obama owned the "good" from the Daley machine?

    As soon as Obama runs on the idea that he gained valuable experience and got things done as part of the Daley machine, then you may have a point.


    NAFTA was a reasonable approach (none / 0) (#33)
    by hairspray on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:30:35 PM EST
    to raising the standard of living of the Mexicans by liberalizing trade in a bloc to fend off competitive trade blocs from abroad in 1993.  It's purpose was to create a large and mutually benficial economic lift to Canada, US and Mexico and for a few years it worked.  By the late '90's it needed reform, but the GOP was in full control of the congress and now it needs to be repaired. It is not a total disaster, but some of its provisions need to be fixed.  Going backwards to fix blame is not productive except for Obama.

    I am glad she's addressing this (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:16:50 AM EST
    the original Clinton NAFTA plan had lots of safeguards in it.....but the final product clearly did not.

    yup (none / 0) (#12)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:21:18 AM EST
    Mechboy is a chatterer (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:42:46 AM EST
    and a shill and is limited to four comments a day. See the comment rules. You're over limit. Any more comments today from you will be deleted.

    What Obama really feels about NAFTA when not (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:17:12 AM EST
    Associated Press: Obama said the United States should `pursue deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.' "Obama said the United State should continue to work with the World Trade Organization and pursue deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement." [AP, 9/8/04]
    Decatur Herald & Review: 'Obama said the United States benefits enormously from exports under the WTO and NAFTA.' "While some people believe NAFTA has been good for U.S. farmers, the trade results could have been better, Keyes said. NAFTA negotiators said the United States might lose manufacturing jobs but would become a service economy, but now those service jobs also are being exported, he said. Obama said the United States benefits enormously from exports under the WTO and NAFTA. He said, at the same time, there must be recognition that the global economy has shifted, and the United States is no longer the dominant economy. 'We have competition in world trade,' Obama said. 'When China devalues its currency 40 percent, we need to bring a complaint before the WTO just as other nations complain about us. If we are to be competitive over the long term, we need free trade but also fair trade." [Decatur Herald & Review, 9/9/04]

    What Obama really feels about NAFTA when not (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:20:37 AM EST
    More Obama on NAFTA when not pandering
    In a memo released today from allies, the Obama campaign repeats a charge that's been 'widely criticized as bogus' about Hillary's position on NAFTA. From the memo:

    As late as September 2006, Senator Clinton touted the President Clinton's support for NAFTA.
    And again:

    AS LATE AS SEPTEMBER 2006: Hillary Said NAFTA Was A Victory For President Clinton, Would Lead To An Economic Improvement.
    In fact, Hillary didn't say this in September 2006. The Obama campaign cites a Newsday article that asserts what Hillary "thinks" about NAFTA without any substantiation.

    The Obama campaign then cites an article from 12 years ago that also doesn't quote Hillary and her book, where Hillary mentions NAFTA as something that passed through Congress in 1996. That's why the Politico called a piece of mail featuring the same claim "bogus" and noted the Obama campaign has failed to produce any evidence that she championed NAFTA.

    The Obama campaign fails to mention that he is not calling for the repeal of NAFTA and believes "it's not realistic to expect to renegotiate NAFTA." [Crain's Chicago Business, 2/16/04]

    Based on his positions in Illinois and the United States Senate, the National Journal concluded that Sen. Obama was "the most likely presidential candidate to support further trade liberalization." Sen. Obama opposed an amendment that would have prevented the weakening of laws that protect against unfair trade practices. (Hillary supported the amendment.) Sen. Obama also supports fast track authority.

    Obama has been very deceptive (none / 0) (#18)
    by Josey on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:36:11 AM EST
    in his ads and mailings about Hillary and Edwards.
    Scorched-earth and very Rovian.

    Rovian like pretending to be a (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by LiberallyDebunked on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:26:37 PM EST
    man of the people while using money from millionaires to set up 527's to swiftboat her among certain racial groups. Certainly seems that way.

    your link doesn't seem to work (none / 0) (#40)
    by Josey on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:09:52 PM EST
    Gee - Wouldn't It Be Nice... (none / 0) (#41)
    by AmyinSC on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 09:26:31 PM EST
    If the media actually did its job and REPORTED THESE DISCREPANCIES???  Obama has been hammering her on NAFTA, and she has CONSISTENTLY said she had problems with it.  If Carl Bernstein is saying it, that's saying something, because he is VERY dismissive of her.

    And amen abt the mailers, too.  Funny how THAT is not getting out anywhere in the media.

    I might add, if Clinton says anything, like Obama plagarizing her speeches, SHE'S the one with the problem.  Just like someone said above - she should come out with guns blazing, but it would just seem petty.  He can say/do whatever he wants, though.  Talk abt your double-standard!!


    It might be too late (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Prabhata on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:27:26 AM EST
    Obama has the upper hand and they are ready to follow dear leader Obama.  

    From Crooks and Liars, (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by g8grl on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:27:35 PM EST
    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/01/31/carl-bernstein-says-hillary-clinton-fought-against-nafta-wh en-bill-implemented-it/

    Bernstein: Hillary Clinton's economics, the ones she preached to her husband in the White House are much closer to John Edwards then you would think. She argued with Bill Clinton when she was First Lady, her husband, she said `Bill, you are doing Republican economics when you are doing NAFTA.' She was against NAFTA. And if she would somehow come out and tell the real story of what she fought for in the White House and failed in a big argument with her husband she would end up moving much closer to those Edwards followers.

    Oof. Bill really did a number on (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by tigercourse on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:34:10 PM EST
    her in this campaign. She was saddled with all of his mistakes (even the ones she opposed) and credited with none of his triumps.

    How ironic that one of (none / 0) (#35)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:36:40 PM EST
    the fattest cats of all (Perot), was one of the few to publicly call a spade a spade on this issue.

    And of course, that great "liberal" Gore went after him in responce as if Perot were preparing to release one of the seven plagues.

    Anothet inconvenient truth.


    link to Hillary's text is broken (none / 0) (#17)
    by Josey on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:32:50 AM EST

    thanks it's fixed now (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:44:54 AM EST
    At this point, I'd say Clinton just needs (none / 0) (#23)
    by tigercourse on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:46:38 AM EST
    to do a final lap around the track. This is her last hurrah, so she might as well go out looking good. Stick to arguing for liberal/progressive policies and touting her record. There's no real point in attacking Obama anymore, it doesn't stick.

    She could point out that Obama attacking free trade is kind of hypocritical, but it will just make her look petty or something.

    NAFTA was predictably bad (none / 0) (#26)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:57:05 AM EST
    I know that because as a  dumb ol' letter carrier I predicted what was going to happen with NAFTA before it happened.

    There are reasons for tariffs and protections. And free trade isn't free.

    One thing few people point out is that NAFTA allowed Big Ag to dump lots of corn in Mexico, undercutting small farmers there. Not being able to feed their families, guess where they went? So instead of enriching the average Mexican, NAFTA impoverished him.

    Any trade agreement which makes things worse for the average citizen of any country while filling the pockets of the fat cats is no good. While I'm glad to see that Clinton is now ready to do something about NAFTA a couple of weeks before Ohio, it's been a number of years since most of us have noticed its deficiencies. That's not being a leader.

    Doesn't Bernstein say Hillary (none / 0) (#27)
    by MarkL on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:04:23 PM EST
    was strongly opposed to Nafta when Bill signed it?

    Yes. His book says she (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:21:19 PM EST
    finally even yelled at Bill about it.  Wish we had that on Youtube!

    now THAT must have been a "shrill" (none / 0) (#30)
    by MarkL on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:25:15 PM EST

    I did not know that (none / 0) (#39)
    by splashy on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:59:53 PM EST
    It makes me even more supportive of Hillary. Thanks for the info.