Scene Shifts from D.C. to Chicago

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We spent quite a bit of time yesterday on that story by Canada’s CTV on the Obama camp giving a wink and a nod to the Canadian ambassador about Obama’s heavy anti-NAFTA rhetoric. Basically, the alleged backchannel communication was: Don’t worry, he’s not as bad as he sounds.

The Obama campaign initially, in an on-camera interview by a spokesperson, didn’t deny the report. Later it made an artful and very general “the story is inaccurate” denial, the precise inaccuracy not being identified. That was followed by about as categorical a denial as you can have, from the Canadian embassy in Washington.

Now CTV has followed up, not only standing by its story, but naming the Obama adviser who allegedly talked with Canadian representatives. He is reported by CTV to be Obama senior economic adviser Austan Goolsbee. According to CTV, the conversation took place not with the D.C. embassy but with the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago. Goolsbee is on the faculty at the University of Chicago School of Business.

Goolsbee “refused to say whether he had such a conversation with the Canadian government office in Chicago,” when contacted yesterday by CTV.

Late Update: Another round of denials from the Obama camp, more strenuous this time, including a denial from Goolsbee himself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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