MSNBC Guests, Hosts: We Don’t Know What Hillary’s Position on Trade Is

A panel on MSNBC’s “NOW with Alex Wagner” and “Ed Show” host Ed Schultz said that Hillary Clinton’s trade position is unclear and accused her of “political positioning” and a lack of transparency on Monday.

Huffington Post Political Editor and White House Correspondent Sam Stein, after seeing a clip of Hillary talking about TPP at a press conference, said, “I’m trying to make an answer out of it. I couldn’t really tell. It was an answer wrapped vague commentary about process, I think. So, I’m not entirely sure if she actually supports the deal. I don’t think she does because she hasn’t seen it. I’m not sure if she supports granting the president authority to negotiate the deal without having it amended. … I think she’s avoiding it strategically, and we’ll probably have to live with these answers because she doesn’t seem like she wants to give anything more substantive than that.”

Host Alex Wagner then stated, “this is why I think it’s actually a problem. Because there’s some, I think, merit to that partially being a process question, but it’s also a question about where you sit in the Democratic Party, which has been split by this. Between President Obama and Republicans and some Democrats, and more liberal Democrats, including the majority of House Democrats, and by the way, Nancy Pelosi, who are against the deal. And the question that has dogged Clinton is what kind of Democrat is she? And this is an area where there would really be some insight into this.”

New York Times political reporter Nick Confessore added of Hillary’s position, “nobody knows, it’s not clear.”

Jacob Weisberg, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Slate Group argued, “The Hillary of a year ago was for the trade deal. The Hillary of Saturday’s announcement was against the trade deal. We’ll have to see which Hillary she is when the trade deal comes up for the next vote. … This is just political positioning.”

On his show, Schultz said there was “no straight talk” from Hillary’s camp on fast-track or TPP. He continued, “Now, this is not the media manufacturing a Hillary Clinton story that might not be very good. This is a classic example of how Hillary Clinton has not, on this issue, been crystal clear on where she stands on fast-track, and whether she thinks Congress should be reading trade deals before they vote on them. Because fast-track would, of course, have the Congress in a position where it’s either going to be an up or down vote. So, Hillary, in a sense, is putting her spokespeople in an untenable position.” And “American voters deserve to know where Hillary Clinton, or whoever else wants to be president, where they stand on fast-track and the TPP. If it’s a yes or no problem for Hillary Clinton at this point, it’s going to dog her campaign for a long time. I guarantee you, this story isn’t going to go away after the vote. Because it’ll never be forgotten by the people who are going to be losing their jobs and be put in jeopardy in this economy.”

He concluded, “I think it’s time that Hillary Clinton starts providing some transparency for voters.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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