Reprinted from Campaign For America's Future
President Obama, speaking to the Organizing for America (OFA) Summit Thursday, said that people who have concerns about the Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority process and the still-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "don't know what they're talking about," and compared them to conservatives like Sarah Palin, who claimed that the Obamacare health care reform contained "death panels."
Then, on a Friday conference call with reporters the President complained about people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders saying, "Every single one of the critics who I hear saying, 'this is a secret deal,' or send out emails to their fundraising base saying they're working to prevent this secret deal, can walk over today and read the text of the agreement. There's nothing secret about it."
In fact, the TPP is still secret, but parts of it have leaked. It will remain secret from the public until shortly before it is voted on in Congress.
The "death panel" remark is reported in The Hill, "Obama: Liberal trade critics 'don't know what they're talking about'":
"Obama is ramping up his sales pitch to Democrats, many of whom oppose trade promotion authority bills because they worry new deals with European and Asian nations would hurt American workers.
"They also say the administration has not been transparent in sharing details of the trade proposals.
"Obama dismissed those claims, comparing them to talk about 'death panels' during the ObamaCare debate, a phrase coined by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"'Someone coming up with a slogan like 'death panels' doesn't mean it's true,' he said. 'The same thing is true on this. Look at the facts, don't just throw a bunch of stuff out there.'"
Democrats Not Happy
The President's alignment with Republicans, Wall Street, and corporate lobbying organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, and against progressives, labor, and almost all Democrats to push TPP is frustrating Democrats across the board. The Huffington Post reports on this in "Democrats' Frustration With Obama Boils Over In Trade Battle":
"Calling it 'maddening,' Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told reporters that the Obama administration was putting on a full-court press unlike anything Democrats have ever seen in his presidency in order to win the authority to fast track enormous trade deals.
"'I think if you could get my colleagues to be honest, on the Democratic side, with you -- and I think you can mostly -- they will say they've been talked to, approached, lobbied and maybe cajoled by more cabinet members on this issue than any issue since Barack Obama's been president,' Brown said.
"'I wish they put the same effort into minimum wage. I wish they put the same effort into Medicare at 55. I wish they put the same effort into some consumer strengthening on Dodd-Frank,' Brown said.
"Casey added that he thought it would be better if the administration took 'that intensity to lobby folks on trade' and applied it to the Democrats' efforts to focus on the middle class.
"'My God, we should be spending our time on that, not having the debate we're having,' Casey said."
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