President Obama is lashing out at Democratic critics from his left flank over his support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, calling them "just wrong" and saying Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) in particular is "absolutely wrong" about its provisions.
"When you break down the logic of their arguments, there's not much ‘there’ there," he told Yahoo! News’ Matt Bai Friday.
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Obama addressed Warren’s claim that the TPP could potentially allow future presidents to roll back the Dodd-Frank regulation of Wall Street by blasting the American-Indian senator's logic.
"She’s absolutely wrong," he said. "Think about the logic of that, right? The notion that I had this massive fight with Wall Street to make sure that we don’t repeat what happened in 2007, 2008. And then I sign a provision that would unravel it? I’d have to be pretty stupid, and it doesn't make any sense … There is no evidence that this could ever be used in this way. This is pure speculation. She and I both taught law school, and you know, one of the things you do as a law professor is you spin out hypotheticals."
He added that "her arguments don't stand the test of fact and scrutiny." Left-wing presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) is also among those in fierce opposition to the TPP, saying it "follows in the footsteps of other disastrous trade agreements that have cost us millions of jobs," but Obama ripped that type of logic as being "based on fears."
"We’re not going to shrink the overall economic pie just because we’re mad about some things that have happened in the past," he said.
On the same day during a speech at Nike headquarters in Oregon, Obama ripped some of his "dearest friends" in the Democratic Party as "just wrong" for opposing the TPP.
"There have been a bunch of critics about trade deals generally and the Trans-Pacific Partnership," he said. "And what’s interesting is typically they’re my friends coming from my party. And they’re my fellow travelers on minimum wage and on job training and on clean energy and on every progressive issue, they’re right there with me. And then on this, they’re like whupping on me."
In a speech last month to Organizing for Action, the liberal advocacy spinoff group from his presidential campaign, Obama showed vexed yet again with the left wing of the party.
"When people say that this trade deal is bad for working families, they don’t know what they’re talking about," Obama said. "I take that personally. My entire presidency has been about helping working families. I’ve been working too hard at this."
Obama's efforts to gain support for the TPP, a free-trade agreement with 12 Asian nations, are described by the New York Times as his "most aggressive and sustained legislative push since the Affordable Care Act:"
The accord, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, would reduce tariffs on a vast array of goods and services, reaching 40 percent of the global economy and affecting about 40 percent of America’s exports and imports. Mr. Obama has seized on it as "the most progressive trade agreement in history," with labor and environmental standards written into its text and the potential to right the wrongs of past trade deals.