I asked, on a media call today with the McCain campaign, about Obama’s protectionist language during the campaign and whether in a world financial recession this posed a risk. Rudy Giuliani, who was in on the call, responded that he had just returned from Amsterdam and Russia and that “there is a great deal of concern.” He invoked the Great Depression, noting that Smoot-Hawley tariffs extended and deepened the recession. He said that this remains “of great concern to countries throughout the world” and that leaders have remarked off the record that it is “very irresponsible.” He went on to observe that it was highly likely that this was a campaign pledge Obama would keep, given his fidelity to Big Labor on other issues, such as school choice and “support for doing away with secret ballot [union] elections.” McCain foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann went further, dubbing Obama’s statements on Colombia misstating the ongoing level of violence against union leaders and the failure of the Uribe government to act “completely and utterly ignorant.” He noted that Obama also opposes the South Korean free trade agreement. Scary stuff, considering how things stand right now.
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