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Questions on Trade Agreement Bring Back the Laugh

By Perry Bacon Jr.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Asked about her husband's receipt of almost $1 million from a group that backs a trade deal with Colombia that she opposes, Sen. Hillary Clinton turned to a tactic she had used often early in her campaign, though not recently: laughing off the question.

Pressed during a press conference about whether her husband's business dealings and support for a bilateral trade agreement with Colombia represented a "conflict of interest" because she has used some of the couple's personal funds to help finance her campaign, the New York senator laughed for several seconds before saying, "I don't how to answer the question."

"I am against the Colombia trade agreement," she said. "It doesn't matter who talks to me, it doesn't matter the circumstances. I have been against -- I will be against it."

Earlier, asked if her husband's backing of the trade deal would impact her stance if she were elected, Clinton said "the president makes the decisions."

In the press conference, reflecting the increasingly complicated campaign dynamics, Clinton criticized her rival Barack Obama on the economy and Iraq, criticized President Bush's stances on the war and his plan to attend the opening of the Olympic ceremonies, mocked McCain's plan to stop the housing crisis and distanced herself from her own husband on trade.

"Senator Obama and Senator McCain have not lead on either issue," Clinton said, referring to the economy and Iraq.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 10, 2008; 6:20 PM ET
 
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Comments

This is Hillary Clinton: Whitewater, Travelgate, Monica Lewinsky and impeachment, renting out the Lincoln bedroom, the loss of the Rose Law Firm billing records for nearly 2 years until they were miraculously found in the White House living quarters, removing files from Vince Foster's office following his suicide and before investigators could get there. Her stalling to release her earmark requests from her time in the Senate, as well as her Clinton library donors. Her sell out apology to the African American community (for her campaigns racist comments) which came days too late. Her decline to return $170,000 in campaign contributions from individuals at International Profit Associates, or IPA accused of widespread sexual harassment, and whose CEO is a disbarred lawyer with a criminal record. Lets not forget her campaign eventually returned some $850,000 to Hong Kong businessman Norman Hsu who was found to be a fugitive in a 15-year old theft case. He was indicted for fraud related to his campaign contributions in 2007. Her failed inclusion and diplomacy with congress on her universal health care bid. Her subsequent surrender and alignment to the health care industry. Her disguise on NAFTA and all free trade agreements. Her conscious vote for war in Iraq. Her blatant flip flop on Florida and Michigan. Her repetitive lies about Bosnia. Her exaggerated foreign policy experience. Her dealing the race card better than Republicans could. Clinton photo and prayer breakfast with Rev Wright. Clinton photo with Rezko. Her failure to get the endorsement of close friend Bill Richardson. Her miserable failure to manage her own campaign. Her charlatan flip flop on pledged delegates and superdelegates by encouraging party elite to vote against the will of the people - "I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it's time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president." - Hillary Clinton in 2000

Posted by: Matt | April 11, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, vid link.

That video is embarrassing, to say the least. Does she really think that she can laugh off questions about what $800,000 in Colombian money is really paying for? The parallels between her and President Bush are plain to see. Do we want four more years of this kind of refusal to hold oneself accountable to the American people?

Posted by: whatmeregister | April 11, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: vid link | April 11, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Hills on one hand says being in First Lady allowed her to have some input. So when Bill Bob is sitting around in his jammies having his toast is he going to shut up on the Columbia trade deal. How about his love of Dubai money? The list is endless and thats the problem. They are both tainted by the past. deal with it and stop laughing it off.

Posted by: Dave | April 11, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Hillary, word does not count, just word (from your mouth), action does count, strongly. Your husband, the former US president took $ from Columbia for lobbying free trade agreement. The US role in free trade is nothing, Columbia will export a lot of goods to US and US won't counter that, less to nothing because how many Columbian can afford buying US products. US shopping malls flood with made in China (most), India, Mexico, etc. Do you want to see more made in Columbia, American?
She opposes the free trade now, she will change her mind when she gets to WH. Remember, buy one get one free, you bought Bill, got Hillary, you will get Bill if you buy Hillary. Step back and look at the big picture. I am an independent, I will vote for the none of the above (if it is in the ballot) or the lesser evil / liar.
I would vote for her if she left him then.

Posted by: Katy | April 11, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

It's 3AM and the phone in the white house is ringing...

"this is hill..."
"Ms. President, there's been a national security breach, we need to know what to do"
"the former New York senator laughed for several seconds before saying, "I don't how to answer the question."


give me a f###ing break.

Posted by: jencm | April 11, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"This is a huge conflict of interest, and the only reason you don't know how to answer it is because you know it's true. C'mon Hillary, you are better than that. You are in PA for goodness sake- stop trying to dupe the voters before you lose your lead all together. I can't even defend her on this one, and I'm a supporter. But this whole thing has got a lot of us pretty p'd off in Ohio."

Posted by: Chris | April 10, 2008 8:52 PM

It's getting harder and harder for the Clinton dynasty to pull another Ohio.

Posted by: FirstMouse | April 11, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Remember when she freaked out with her "Shame on you Barack Obama!"? This was about Canada and NAFTA and turned out to be a false claim.

Her husband taking 7 figures of money from Columbia is many many times worse than that and is true.

Posted by: ArchAngel | April 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

asked if her husband's backing of the trade deal would impact her stance if she were elected, Clinton said "the president makes the decisions."

Hillary laughs while the jobless and home-threatened suffer.

Posted by: FirstMouse | April 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I think CNN might have the video; I believe it was a CNN reporter who asked her the question.

Posted by: njs | April 11, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

As an independant-leaning democrat, I'd have gladly voted for either Hillary or Obama for president because the Bush regime has been so disastrous for this country. But the more I see of Hillary Clinton, and the more I think about Bill Clinton's rubber stamp on NAFTA, how he blithely sold American jobs to the lowest bidder at the behest of multinational corporations, the angrier I get.

I know there's alot at stake (Supreme Court, Iraq, etc.), but honestly McCain is looking better right now than another Clinton in the White House. These people are shameless.

Posted by: D in NM | April 11, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

When a question that is that important is asked and we receive a cackle as a response it calls her character into question to me. Actually, it goes beyond question to an answer of inappropriateness. This is a serious matter. All of Bill's baggage, all of Hillary's baggage. The constant scandals, their upcoming lawsuit, the deceptions of Bill's campaign, and the deceptive and divisive nature of her campaign provide a stark and solid answer in my mind. I won't be voting for Hillary.

Posted by: geo | April 10, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

"Waaaaaaaaaa! It hurts so much. I can't stand it anymore. Waaaaaaaa! Please don't talk about NAFTA anymore. What will I do if someone from the media asks me about? How will I respond? I know; I'll laugh it off. Yeah! That's what I'll do".

Mrs. Clinton, you've lost ground in the polls to Obama, probably because of the NAFTA gaff.

"Waaaaaaaaa"!

That's what Clinton gets for smearing Obama on NAFTA in Ohio.

Posted by: ji_john | April 10, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Hillary and bill are the biggest liars of the century.

Posted by: ha hilary | April 10, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

YOU CAN SAY ANYTHING ON THIS THREAD AND GET AWAY WITH IT :-)

Posted by: Ham Fondu | April 10, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Is hillary the jane fonda c word ?

Posted by: Cheese Fondu | April 10, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

is Hillary the jane fonda c word ?

Posted by: George Lander | April 10, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

DOes anyone have a URL fo rthe video or audio of this laugh at the press conference ?

Posted by: Ralph Wilson | April 10, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

She said she doesn't know how to answer this question!!?? Well, I've got an answer for you Hillary, "Yes", It's a helluva conflict of interest! Bill brought in $800,000 to broker a deal with Washington on this, and you guys obviously accepted the funds. This is a huge conflict of interest, and the only reason you don't know how to answer it is because you know it's true. C'mon Hillary, you are better than that. You are in PA for goodness sake- stop trying to dupe the voters before you lose your lead all together. I can't even defend her on this one, and I'm a supporter. But this whole thing has got a lot of us pretty p'd off in Ohio.

Posted by: Chris | April 10, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Counterpunch:
Let's start with his signature position against the Iraq war. Obama has sent mixed messages at best.
First, he opposed the war in Iraq while in the Illinois state legislature. Once he was running for US Senate though, when public opinion and support for the war was at its highest, he was quoted in the July 27, 2004 Chicago Tribune as saying, "There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage.
The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute." The Tribune went on to say that Obama, "now believes US forces must remain to stabilize the war-ravaged nation ­ a policy not dissimilar to the current approach of the Bush administration."

Obama's campaign says he was referring to the ongoing occupation and how best to stabilize the region. But why wouldn't he have taken the opportunity to urge withdrawal if he truly opposed the war? Was he trying to signal to conservative voters that he would subjugate his anti-war position if elected to the US Senate and perhaps support a lengthy occupation? Well as it turns out, he's done just that.

Posted by: greenfun | April 10, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Where can I find the video of this ? Does the Washington Post have it ?

Posted by: Fred Washington | April 10, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

URL FOR VIDEO (OR AUDIO) OF HILLARY LAUGHING AT THIS PRESS CONFERENCE ????

Posted by: Tom Riddle | April 10, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

DOES ANYONE HAVE THE VIDEO OF HER LAUGHING AT THIS PRESS CONFERENCE ?

Posted by: Tom Riddle | April 10, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"I am a liar......uh...oh... a liar.....yes....uh....oh....I am a liar.
How many times do I have to repeat myself?
I just want the American people to take my word for it, and believe me for a change. Being a liar, takes a conscious effort, every moment of the day for me.
I mean....why would I lie about something, like lying anyways?
My name speaks for itself. I endorse this message and admission to the American public."

"Please assume, that anything that I say, could, and probably is, a lie."

Posted by: Steven Wilson | April 10, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

What a load of *hit, lie after lie after lie and oh yes, "It's time for a woman president" but "Don't vote for me because I am a woman"

And now the maniacal laugh is back along with her expressions that make her look like she's insane, come to think of it she is insane.

Posted by: jr | April 10, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

The conflict of interest here is enormous. And when you market yourself, as the Clinton's have always done, as 'two-for-one', you can't blame people for asking who'll be making the decisions. Hillary can't just dismiss this. She needs to fire Penn completely and she needs to discuss exactly what Bill's role would be.

Posted by: Sueb2 | April 10, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha! I dont know how to answer that.

Let's see Bill's a lobbyist for Columbia, gets paid exorbitant fees, you have a joint bank account, and you file jointly. On what planet is that NOT a conflict of interest?

Not only are you not bing honest with us, you're not being honest with yourself.

Would someone please ask her about the fact that she had a public position and separate private position on NAFTA, does she have a separate private position on CAFTA?

Posted by: UncleRemus | April 10, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

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