Reacting to a story that Barack Obama doesn’t think NAFTA is so bad after all, Juan Carlos Hidalgo says “he’s a politician after all,” as I noted (twice) back in March. Here’s Obama coming clean in Fortune:
Barack Obama is toning down his populist rhetoric – at least when it comes to free trade.
In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine’s upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn’t want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA.
“Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,” he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA “devastating” and “a big mistake,” despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.
Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? “Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don’t exempt myself,” he answered.