“There was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA,” the embassy statement said. “We deeply regret any inference that may have been drawn to that effect.”The consulate’s written report of the meeting had left the suggestion that Obama’s words on NAFTA were designed for a political audience and should not be taken too seriously, prompting an angry denial from the Obama campaign.
The backstory here is that Obama has promised to withdraw from NAFTA unless declining American industries are shielded from competition. Obama sympathizers, and the Canadian consulte, both have assumed that Obama is being two-faced, and that he will support America’s free-trade policy. He is demagoging the subject, so the theory goes, in order to win votes.
Certainly true, and no worse than Romney promising to bring old-line jobs back to Michigan.
But much worse than John McCain’s consistently open stance on immigration. Globalization in capital and goods (“Free Trade”) and globalization in labor (“immigration”) are two sides of the same coin. Only John McCain has been “talking straight” and supporting both. This has real political consequences, as McCain has to break less campaign promises once he starts governing, and thus burns less political capital upon entering office.