Canadian TV (CTV) caused a kafuffle yesterday when they reported that a “senior member” of Obama’s campaign called the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Wilson to warn him that the Illinois Senator would be taking some “heavy swings” at NAFTA but not to take such language too seriously as it’s all just “campaign rhetoric.”
The Canadian Foreign Ministry today flatly denied the story:
“I can categorically say that no one has contacted our embassy or our ambassador,” said Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andre Lemay. “None of our officials at the embassy discussed anything with the runners up in the presidential campaign. We realize that one of the Canadian networks mentioned yesterday that such a call had been made. The report is untrue.”
When asked whether Ambassador Michael Wilson, the Canadian emissary to the U.S., had received a call from anyone in the Obama campaign, Lemay said he had not.
Wilson “was not contacted by anybody,” said Lemay. “Nor was any official in our embassy.”
“We are saying the story is untrue,” Lemay reiterated.
The Obama campaign also denied the story in not one but two emails to reporters:
“When Senator Obama says that he will forcefully act to make NAFTA a better deal for American workers, he means it,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “Both Canada and Mexico should know that, as president, Barack Obama will do what it takes to create and protect American jobs and strengthen the American economy – that includes amending NAFTA to include labor and environmental standards.”
Canada is the U.S.’s largest trading partner. And a spokesman for the Canadian embassy in Washington did admit they have had staff-level talks with both the Obama and Clinton campaigns on NAFTA where they encouraged both candidates “to look at NAFTA in a positive light.”
So, did no one bother to call, or pretend to call, Mexico?