NAFTA Casts Wide Shadow on Ohio Vote

Clinton, Obama look to score points bashing trade pact
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2008 5:50 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., sparred over NAFTA during their MSNBC debate in Cleveland Ohio earlier this week. (AP Photo/Mark...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battle for votes in Ohio, each pushes a simple theme: NAFTA is bad. Ohio has been hit hard by free trade, which is why Obama reminds voters that Bill Clinton backed NAFTA. And both hopefuls have mined each other's comments for anything that favors global trade, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Many voters blame the maligned trade deal for the state's loss of 225,000 jobs since 2001, but one local economist isn’t convinced: “It’s nice to blame the bogeyman, rather than the failed business strategies of Ford, GM, or Chrysler.” Clinton and Obama have toured Ohio condemning NAFTA and promising to create new jobs, but one Democratic strategist gives the edge to Obama “only because his last name isn’t Clinton.”