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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 ClintonPelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights Hillary Clinton: Biden less 'constrained' than Clinton and Obama due to prior administration Biden's unavoidable foreign policy crisis 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 ClintonNever underestimate Joe Biden Joe Biden demonstrates public health approach will solve America's ills McAuliffe rising again in Virginia 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 SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Biden campaign promises will struggle if Republicans win back Congress Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers McConnell sidesteps Cheney-Trump drama 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 McConnellThe Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won Biden: GOP in the midst of a 'mini-revolution' Ernst defends Cheney, calls for GOP unity 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 KaineOn The Money: Incomes, consumer spending soared in March | Harris, senators work behind scenes on jobs package | Biden cancels some border wall construction Harris, senators work behind scenes on jobs package Overnight Defense: Gillibrand makes new push for military sexual assault reform | US troops begin leaving Afghanistan | Biden budget delay pushes back annual defense policy bill 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."