Clinton Friend, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Now Pretends Hillary Never Supported TPP
from the that's-just-wrong dept
The whole silliness around Hillary Clinton and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement just keeps getting sillier. She should admit what pretty much everyone already recognizes: she supports the deal. She could then explain why she supports it and perhaps the public could have an honest and open conversation about the nature of these agreements. As we’ve noted more than once, we tend to support free trade here at Techdirt, but the TPP agreement is barely about free trade. It’s mostly about investment and creating other regulatory/protectionist barriers. But Clinton’s constant flip flopping on the issue is silly. Back in 2012, she declared the TPP to be “the gold standard” in trade agreements. It was only last fall, after she started facing primary pressure from Bernie Sanders, who was against the agreement, that she flip flopped and said:
?As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,? Clinton said, later adding, ?I don?t believe it?s going to meet the high bar I have set.?
It got so ridiculous that Clinton deleted the section of her memoir where she talks about her support of the TPP. That’s just literally trying to rewrite history.
Meanwhile, pretty much everyone has assumed that after the election, she’d flip flop right back into supporting the TPP. Back in February, the head of the US Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, made it clear that he fully expected she’d flip back, and this week a US Chamber of Commerce employee who spoke at the Democratic Convention (officially as a member of “Republican Women for Hillary”) has also said she expects Hillary to flip back and support the agreement.
But, of course the bigger headlines came when the Clintons’ close family friend and advisor, current Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, admitted that he fully expected she’d support the TPP after the election. As we noted, this resulted in a bunch of other Clinton supporters to scream loudly about how this was crazy and Hillary was never going to support TPP. Apparently the message got back to McAuliffe, who when approached at a bar late at night by a Gawker reporter now claims not only that Hillary will never support the agreement, but that she never did in the past either.
She?s wrong. I support it. She doesn?t. She never supported it. I create jobs in Virginia, I always supported it. We?re best friends. She has never supported it.
Except, of course, she has supported it, quite clearly in the past. And almost certainly still is. I understand the political calculations here. Historically, Democrats (especially the progressive wing) have generally been against free trade. So these agreements (even when they’re actually good!) are usually a tough sell to Democratic voters. But this is a weird year. Because while these agreements have almost universally been supported by Republicans, this year Donald Trump suddenly hates them — not for all the legitimate reasons to hate them, but mainly because he doesn’t understand how international trade works.
But wouldn’t it be nice if Clinton could just come out and say what she really thought about the TPP and have an open conversation about it, rather than playing this “wink wink nod nod” game where basically everyone knows her true position, but she won’t say it?