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Hillary Supporter Mark Warner Backs TPP But Dodges Questions About Clinton’s Flip-Flop on Issue

• October 20, 2015 9:13 am

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Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) touted the Trans-Pacific Partnership during an interview Tuesday on Morning Joe, but he dodged questions about Hillary Clinton's flip-flop on the free trade agreement she pushed for while secretary of state but now opposes as she runs for president.

President Obama and congressional Republicans have for once found themselves on the same side by backing the deal strongly, but many Democrats have hit Obama from the left over the TPP, claiming it will kill American jobs. Clinton did yet another flip on a major policy position by announcing she was against it despite repeatedly backing the measure while a member of Obama's administration.

"I still think it's in America's best interest to pass TPP," Warner said. "I think it'll create jobs. I think it will expand our influence in that terribly important area, Asia, and frankly, it is the one area where there's still bipartisan consensus, and the vast majority of mainstream economists from left to right say it's in our country's best interest."

Bloomberg's John Heilemann asked Warner if it was "strange" or "inconsistent" that Clinton had done a full flip on the TPP.

"I understand there's a lot of folks on the Democratic side who look back and say at NAFTA 20 years ago, oh my gosh, there was some downturn, and there were job losses," Warner said. "I think about the job losses particularly in furniture and other areas of manufacturing, but net net, when you're looking now at whether we're going to have a trade policy that is basically set up and rules of the road that America put together with TPP, I'll go with it. Secretary Clinton's making her own decisions. I'm telling you where I'm at."

"Again, I'm just asking you whether you think there's anything inconsistent about Senator [sic] Clinton's switch on this position," Heilemann said.

"I think longterm, expanded trade for our country is in our country's best interest, but we've got to make sure there's a level playing field, and I think what the administration's put together is a pretty darn good deal," Warner said, with sniggering audible in the background from the MSNBC panel.