CBS reporter Margaret Brennan rattled off a list of 2016 presidential candidates who have offered opinions on the newly completed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement Tuesday, with the exception of Hillary Clinton, who Brennan noted had not said what she thought of it.
On CBS This Morning, Brennan said that several Republican candidates had made their voices known on the TPP, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who is seeking the Democratic nomination and opposes the deal. Brennan slipped, referring to Sanders as the party's presidential "frontrunner," even though he trails Clinton nationally. He does hold a wide lead over Clinton in New Hampshire, and he continues to draw some of the largest crowds of any candidate.
Clinton, who has been criticized for running a cautious and calculated campaign, was the only candidate mentioned who had not taken a stance on the TPP, even though she endorsed it at least 45 times while secretary of state.
"The 2016 presidential candidates are already weighing in," Brennan said. "Jeb Bush has endorsed it. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump says he'd negotiate a better deal ... Candidate Mike Huckabee said the president, quote, 'got rolled like sushi.' Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has not said what she thinks, and Democratic presidential frontrunner Bernie Sanders said he's going to do everything he can to try to defeat it."
The TPP is the largest trade agreement since NAFTA in 1993 and is strongly backed by President Obama. According to the Washington Post, Obama said it will erase more than 18,000 trade barriers, hailing it as a means to "open new markets for U.S. goods and services and establish rules of international commerce that give our workers the fair shot at success they deserve."
Obama is at odds with many Democrats, who argue it benefits corporations and hurts unions, and Republicans who say the agreement does not do enough.