Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign manager, couldn’t remember her stance on trade, so he asked other advisers about her position on that particular day.
Mook received an email from David Simas, a political aide to President Barack Obama, requesting correspondence on an apparently bipartisan letter supporting free trade. Simas seemed to want to know if Clinton would also sign the letter.
“I can’t recall where we landed exactly on trade,” Mook said in email to his colleagues, including campaign chairman John Podesta. “Is she going to say she supports it?”
Mook is rather wary of Clinton showing public support of free trade.
“Regardless of her position, signing a letter feels like poking the bear with labor to me,” Mook warned.
Other emails revealed by WikiLeaks show that Clinton’s flip-flopping isn’t so surprising.
During a private 2013 speech to a powerful trade organization, Clinton emphasized the importance of holding two positions on political issues — both a “public” and “private” one.
“You just have to sort of figure out how to … balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today,” Clinton said, according to online communications.
“Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position,” Clinton continued.
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