After coming out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership last week, Hillary Clinton hedged her previous statements in support of the controversial pact at the first Democratic debate on Wednesday night, telling Anderson Cooper that she had said only that she "hoped it would be the gold standard" for such agreements.
"You know, take the trade deal," said Clinton, when asked by Cooper about her previous support for the pact. "I did say, when I was secretary of state, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard."
"It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn't meet my standards," Clinton continued. "I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, 'this will help raise your wages,' and I concluded I could not."
But according the text of remarks posted on the State Department's own website, in 2012 to the State Department's own website, in 2012 Clinton said that the TPP "sets the gold standard" – without qualification.
"This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field," said Clinton.
"And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment."
Ilan Ben-Meir is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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