Clinton Promises Three Million Jobs, Defends Herself on Nafta

040108 hillary2 Clinton Promises Three Million Jobs, Defends Herself on NaftaIn a speech to union members in Philadelphia today, Hillary Clinton said that she would create three million jobs over the next decade as part of her plan to rebuild much of the country’s eroded infrastructure.

“We’re trying to run today’s economy on yesterday’s infrastructure – and we’re jeopardizing tomorrow’s prosperity,” said Clinton. “So I will rebuild America – by rebuilding, repairing and modernizing our infrastructure.”

The key here is that Clinton is continuing to attach specific numbers to her broad economic proposals (five percent to ten percent of income to insurance premiums, $100 billion in tax cuts to the middle class) to make starker the contrast she says exists between her and Barack Obama, who she accuses of being vague and all talk.

In a press conference after her speech, Clinton was pressed on why she, more than Obama or John McCain, insisted on telling manufacturers their jobs could come back, when the post-globalization reality appears otherwise. She said that her tour of factories in Pennsylvania that make wind combines and pharmaceutical products helped convince her that there was a future in manufacturing.

She was also asked why her professed opposition to Nafta during the Clinton administration, which she has argued was vocal, has been so hard to document.

First, she said that she went along with it because, “When you are part of the administration, you go along with what the president finally decides.”

(Obama has pointed out that Clinton held no cabinet position during her husband’s tenure and was thus not a member of the administration.)

Pressed for evidence of her public disapproval of the trade agreement, she said, “That’s not the way it works.”

She said she expressed her opposition in meetings during the ’92 campaign and in the White House. She then repeated, “If you are part of the administration I believe you support the president. And I did.”