McAuliffe: Clinton won't move TPP without changes

McAuliffe: Clinton won't move TPP without changes
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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said Wednesday that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Saagar Enjeti ponders Hillary Clinton's 2020 plans Political ad spending set to explode in 2020 MORE won't back down from her pledge to improve a sweeping Pacific trade deal until there are more benefits for more Americans.

McAuliffe said the Democratic nominee won't walk away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement but would only go forward during her presidency "if the changes that she wants are implemented and that everyone is in agreement — the labor folks would be in agreement‚ all of us would be in agreement."

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A longtime friend Hillary and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonImpeachment can't wait Turley: Democrats offering passion over proof in Trump impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment MORE, McAuliffe said even though the former secretary of State is urging congressional lawmakers to forgo a vote on the 12-nation pact before and after the November elections, that doesn't mean she will leave the TPP behind.

McAuliffe said that means Clinton will stick with her promise to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE in advocating against a vote on the TPP deal before President Obama leaves office.

"Hillary disagrees with it, she doesn't support it," he said in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that aired Wednesday morning on "Morning Joe."  

"That's her right not to do it. She says things have to be fixed in order to go forward but the president this is his top trade initiative.

At a labor union event on Wednesday, McAuliffe said: "Hillary is against TPP and she is always gonna stay against TPP. Let me be crystal clear about that," according to reports. 

Meanwhile, President Obama is lobbying House and Senate leaders to pass the TPP before he leaves office or risk economic and strategic uncertainty in the rapidly growing Pacific region, especially with China.

"He [the president] thinks he can get a vote done during the lame duck session," McAuliffe said.

But there is plenty of discord among House and Senate Democrats, most of whom oppose the TPP and have been vocal in their views to stop the pact's chances of passing Congress this year.

"Hillary doesn't agree with the president on this issue," McAuliffe said. "People disagree in the party. Unless she is happy and can get the changes she wants we are not going to see it from her but you might see it from President Obama. This is his top trade initiative."

The president also is getting plenty of pushback from lawmakers on Capitol Hill who control the legislative agenda, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump MORE (R-Ky.) who has said that the TPP's chances of getting a vote before the end of the year are increasingly dim.

On Tuesday, McAuliffe said that he thought that if elected, Clinton would eventually push for the approval of the TPP.

But Clinton campaign manager John Podesta quickly pushed back, reiterating that the Democratic nominee doesn’t want a vote before or after the election and would likely start from scratch on trade, negating years of work on the TPP, which was completed in October.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said McAullife "is absolutely wrong" in his assessment.

 Hillary Clinton opposes TPP, period," Trumka said.

"There is no daylight between her and America's working families. All of organized labor and all American workers have set a standard, she has embraced it, and she'll stick to it."

McAuliffe's staff walked back his comments saying he was trying to say what he hoped Clinton would do not what he thought would actually happen.

Clinton's running mate Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine'Granite Express' flight to take staffers, journalists to NH after Iowa caucuses Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Senate panel approves Trump FDA pick | Biden downplays Dem enthusiasm around 'Medicare for All' | Trump officials unveil program for free HIV prevention drugs for uninsured Trump's FDA nominee approved by Senate panel MORE (D-Va.) also opposes the TPP agreement.

"Unless she can get those to the point she is happy with she is not going to support it," McAuliffe said. "Plain and simple."