Friday, March 07, 2008

Damn, I'm really starting to hate her

TORONTO (AP)--Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff said someone in Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign gave Canada back-channel assurances that her harsh words about the North American Free Trade Agreement were for political show, according to a report by the Canadian Press.

The report comes just days after a Canadian government memo stated Barack Obama's senior economic adviser told Canadian officials that the Illinois senator's own comments about NAFTA were for "political positioning." The release of that memo helped Clinton defeat Obama decisively in Tuesday's Democratic primary in Ohio, where the trade treaty is unpopular.

On Wednesday, the Canadian Press quoted an unidentified source as saying that Ian Brodie, Harper's chief of staff, made the comment last week to a crew for Canada's CTV television network during a press gathering to discuss Canada's budget. According to a person with knowledge of the incident, the source was a CTV journalist.

The Canadian Press story said a CTV reporter asked Brodie about remarks by Clinton and Obama that they would seek to renegotiate NAFTA.

"He said someone from Clinton's campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt. ... That someone called us and told us not to worry," the journalist quoted Brodie as saying, according to the report.

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