Jake Tapper tried so hard to get an answer from Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson as to where Hillary Clinton stands on the trade deal, even close to begging, but he had to surrender in the end. All he got were “switcheroos”, evasions, and all the things “people hate about politicians.
First he asks his simple question.
TAPPER: “First I want to ask you about this breaking news in Washington D.C. today and about Secretary Clinton’s position on the President’s trade bill. In a 2012 speech in Australia, Clinton who was a big proponent of the Pacific Partnership bill said quote, “It sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free transparent fair trade. The kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.” It sounds to me like she is a big supporter of it but as a candidate she said nothing about it.”
FINNEY: “Well, but what you just read, that was from 2012 and we are now in 2015 and this deal has gone back and forth between the House and the Senate and then it sounds like we are going back and forth again another couple of times so that is part of why as you played earlier on your show, Hillary has made it very clear that she has her two kind of standards. Any trade deal has to meet those two tests and she has voted for trade agreements that she thought were good and she has voted against those that she thought were bad.”
TAPPER: “Okay so she opposes this one?”
He tried again to find out her position since she said it was the gold standard.
FINNEY: “Well, no, that is why she has said that though that she really believes what’s really important from a policy perspective, not the political conversation, she really believes that the final language is really what is important. Because we can talk about currency manipulation but how do we get there? How do we accomplish that?”
TAPPER: “But Karen I am talking about policy because Democrats in the House and Senate have now voted on this. This is an issue that every single Democrat who has announced that they are running for the presidency has taken a position on except for the one who helped push it and did she even help write it? I believe she helped write it.”
FINNEY: “I can’t speak to that because I wasn’t at the State Department. But again I just go back to the bigger picture and that is what she has really been focused on. And I hear what you are saying and I know that there are people who, you know, they have things that they want her to say about this but she and, you know, you played her own words. This is how she has laid out her position on this issue in terms of does it protect American workers, does it keep America safe, what is the final language? I mean again you have seen the ping-pong back and forth…”
I’m not asking about her personal life, he explains.
TAPPER: “But Obama says it does. Pelosi says it doesn’t. I don’t think. I’m not asking her about her personal life…”
FINNEY: “Do you really think we are at final language at this point? I don’t think we’re done at this point given the game.”
Isn’t this what people hate about politicians, he asks the evader who says she hears him. Don’t forget, Hillary refuses to give interviews or answer questions from the press which makes this all the more frustrating.
TAPPER: “Karen, isn’t this exactly what people hate about politicians? That they won’t take a position because as soon as they take a position they are so fearful what the response is going to be from voters? Like she was part of this administration. This administration supports this trade bill. Okay, what I don’t understand is why you just won’t say we oppose it now in its current form. We oppose it. We don’t support it anymore.”
FINNEY: “You know what Jake, I hear you. And again my point is I think when she has talked to voters what they have wanted to talk to her about is the economy and jobs and college affordability so…”
This is a little switcheroo people do he tells her.
TAPPER: “This IS about the economy and jobs! This is the little switcheroo people do sometimes. Like as if I am asking about her hair or her clothes. I’m not. I’m asking about a trade deal.”
FINNEY: “I didn’t say that you were saying that. My point is she has made it very clear where she is broadly on ths deal. I don’t think we are at the final language…”
He tries one last futile time.
TAPPER: “So generally speaking she supports it?”
FINNEY: “Generally speaking any trade deal has to meet her two tests and that is where she is at.”
He waves the white flag.
TAPPER: “I can see I am getting nowhere…”