Obama lying to voters about his position on NAFTA?

NAFTA has turned out to be an extremely important issue in the primaries this coming week, and Obama has taken an extremely strong position to either re-negotiate the agreement or withdraw from it. But it turns out that he might not believe what he is telling others that he believes:

Talking Points Memo points us to a new report from Canada's CTV in which the news organization fingers Austan Goolsbee, Barack Obama's chief economic advisor, as the man who told Canada not to worry about Obama's anti-NAFTA rhetoric.

According to CTV, the conversation between Goolsbee and the Canadian consulate general took place in Chicago. CTV also reported that on Thursday night "CTV spoke with Goolsbee, but he refused to say whether he had such a conversation with the Canadian government office in Chicago. He also said he has been told to direct any questions to the campaign headquarters."

Having been apprised of this information, How the World Works feels it should retract its unsourced suggestion that this whole affair smelled like a political dirty trick. Goolsbee's refusal to affirm or deny that the conversation took place, the Obama campaign's original cautious response that "the story was not accurate" and the likely fact that Goolsbee almost undoubtedly believes that Obama's vigorous criticism of NAFTA is indeed just rhetoric, make the story a good bit more believable than it first appeared. One doubts that this was an authorized communication between the Obama campaign and the Canadian consulate, however. . . .

Canadian TV also reported on this Wednesday, becoming possibly the first news organization to do so. If that is true, I would guess that the story came from the Canadian government. Now the Obama campaign may really be making a mess of all this by changing their statements on all this.

UPDATE: After first refusing to comment and then denying that there was any such conversation, Goolsbee nailed for talking to the Canadians. Here is my question, why did Goolsbee call the Canadians if not for what the Canadians say:

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Barack Obama's senior economic policy adviser privately told Canadian officials to view the debate in Ohio over trade as "political positioning," according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press that was rejected by the adviser and held up Monday as evidence of doublespeak by rival Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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.

"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," the memo said. "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 disputed the characterization from the conservative government official.

"This thing about 'it's more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans,' that's this guy's language," Goolsbee said of DeMora. "He's not quoting me.

"I certainly did not use that phrase in any way," he said.

The meeting was first reported last week by Canadian television network CTV, which cited unnamed sources as saying that Goolsbee assured the Canadians that Obama's tough talk on the North American Free Trade Agreement is just campaign rhetoric not to be taken seriously. The Obama campaign and the Canadian embassy denied there was any inconsistency between what the candidate was saying publicly and what advisers were saying privately. . . .

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