Media: Clinton’s TPP Flip-Flop “Transparently Political,” “Unbelievable,” “Wrong”


In case you missed it, Hillary Clinton announced perhaps the biggest flip-flop of her political career this week—she came out in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal she once lauded as “the gold standard” when she was Secretary of State.

The media was swift to react to the brazen move, motivated solely by “Presidential primary politics” as NBC News said, labeling it “transparently political.”

Here are some of the worst headlines:

PolitiFact: “Hillary Clinton Flip-Flops On Trans-Pacific Partnership”

The Washington Post: “Clinton Says She Now Opposes Obama’s Pacific Trade Deal, Which She Once Touted”

The Washington Post: “Hillary Clinton’s Opposition To TPP Is A Sign Of Just How Worried She Is About Bernie Sanders”

The Associated Press: “Trade Deal, Keystone Open Clinton To Flip-Flop Charges”

Vox: “Hillary Clinton Opposes The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Which She Once Supported”

The New York Times: “Hillary Clinton’s Opportunist Solution!”

Bloomberg View: “Clinton Is Wrong On TPP”

The Washington Post Editorial: “Ms. Clinton’s Disappointing Choice On The Trans-Pacific Partnership”

Financial Times Editorial: “Hillary Clinton, The TPP And The Trust Problem”

And for those digging a little deeper, check out the TPP flip-flop commentary here:

The Washington Post Editorial: “The most hopeful thing to be said about this deeply disappointing abandonment of the president she served, and the internationalist tendency in Democratic ideology she once embodied, is that it is so transparently political.”

Financial Times Editorial: “The episode underlines a broader problem with her candidacy – a lack of trustworthiness that leaves many voters unsure what, if anything, she believes in.”

NBC News: “This flip-flop isn’t believable at all. For starters, there was the time as secretary of state when she said TPP ‘sets the gold standard in trade agreements…. And because this opposition is so unbelievable, it feeds every negative stereotype about her — despite the short-term political benefits.”

MSNBC: “Her opposition to the Obama priority demonstrates how much pressure she is under the Democratic presidential primary, a race in which Sen. Bernie Sanders is putting up unexpectedly strong opposition from Clinton’s left.”

NBC News: “Three words help explain why Hillary Clinton now opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord — after once laying the groundwork for it as secretary, and before the public has even seen the details. Presidential primary politics.”

Politico: “Of course the entire [Clinton] statement is a purely political flip-flop to pacify a liberal base that has rejected Clinton in favor of Bernie Sanders. Going through it on the merits seems almost pointless.”

The Associated Press: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is just the latest in a long line of issues that Clinton has shifted her views on in recent weeks, giving Democratic rivals like O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an opportunity to brand her as a flip-flopper on the eve of the first Democratic presidential debate.”

The Washington Post: “It’s clear that Clinton and her campaign made a simple calculation: The damage done by flip-flopping on TPP was less worrisome than the reverberations on the left — and among unions especially — if she supported the trade deal. That’s a concession, whether the Clinton folks admit it or not, that they are more than a little concerned about Sanders. Fact.”

The New York Times: “But it meant not only breaking with President Obama, but also distancing herself from a deal she once characterized as a potential ‘gold standard’ for trade agreements while she was secretary of state.”

The New York Times: “She is campaigning on a series of positions that she transparently does not believe in. She’ll say what she needs to say now to become Bernie Sanders in a pantsuit (wait, Bernie Sanders already wears a pantsuit!). Then, nomination in hand and White House won, she will, it appears, transparently flip back and embrace whatever other positions she doesn’t believe in that will help her succeed in her new role.”

Vox: “Again, the argument here isn’t that there aren’t reasons to oppose the TPP, but that knowing Clinton’s record, her advisors, and her past comments about the deal, it’s hard to believe that Clinton really opposes the TPP deal.”

Salon: “What’s so amazing about Clinton’s newfound opposition to the highly controversial deal is the jaw-dropping transparency of the move. It’s such an open ploy to counter both the rise of staunch TPP critic Bernie Sanders and the possible entry of TPP supporter Joe Biden that it’s almost refreshing in its shamelessness.”