TPP update: President Obama on the defensive

CREDO action
TPP update: Progressives are united and President Obama is on the defensive

Dear 5849376,


Progressives are increasingly united, and President Obama is feeling the grassroots pressure on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

On Thursday, the president used a speech to some of his best volunteers from the 2008 and 2012 elections to call out activists like you, and voice his displeasure with senators like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown for speaking out to put the brakes on Fast Track authority for the TPP.

He claimed that activists like you and me "don't know what they're talking about" when it comes to the TPP. The president even compared progressive activists who oppose fast-tracking this deal through Congress to Sarah Palin and her delusional "death panels" references during the health care debate.1

What's more, you may have even been sent a video of this speech calling you out if you are on the Organizing For Action (OFA) email list!

Frankly, this is beneath our president, who subsequently admitted we are getting on his "nerves" with our demands that he release the text of all secret trade deals to members of Congress and the public before Congress is asked to rubberstamp a Fast Track bill.2

We're not offended. We're fired up because this means our campaign is working. With the president clearly on the defensive, it's time to ramp up our pressure even more.

If you haven't done it yet, now is the time to join our campaign to stand with Senator Sanders, and demand the Obama administration immediately make all secret trade agreements public. Click here to sign the petition and then share it within your network of family and friends.

If you have already signed the petition to make TPP public, turn up the pressure by sharing it now.

We also need to keep the pressure on Secretary Hillary Clinton. Thanks to the activism of over 70,000 CREDO members, Clinton is now under intense scrutiny in the media for her failure to take a position on the largest trade deal in history.3 The White House is claiming that Clinton stands with the president in support of TPP,4 but so far she has not taken a definitive position publicly5 – and where she lands could make or break her standing in key battleground states like Ohio and by association her entire presidential campaign.

Make no mistake about it, saying no to Fast Track and the TPP is the first true pass-fail test for Clinton's candidacy on economic populism. As noted by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who called TPP an "abomination":

Now the noncommittal Clinton, in deciding whether to weigh in on the trade bill, faces the first real test of her candidacy. Her decision will demonstrate whether the Warren-style populism that has crept into her stump speech is real, or just talk.6

If you haven't done it yet, tell Secretary Hillary Clinton: Publicly announce your opposition to Fast Track and the TPP. Click here to sign the petition.

If you have already signed the petition, click here to share it within your network.

Thank you for speaking out. As the president's remarks made clear – your activism matters.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

  1. Eric Garcia, "Obama Compares Progressive Opposition to Trade Deal to 'Death Panels' as the Left Ramps Up Opposition," National Journal, April 24, 2015.
  2. Greg Sargent, "Obama escalates push-back against Elizabeth Warren and other trade deal critics," The Plum Line at WashingtonPost, April 24, 2015.
  3. Alex Seitz-Wald, "Liberals ask: Where is Hillary Clinton on trade?", April 1, 2015, Vicki Needham, "Petition urges Hillary to oppose Obama on trade," The Hill, April 2, 2015, John Nichols, "If Clinton is Serious About Economic Populism, She Should Come Out Against Fast Track," The Nation, April 17, 2015, Sally Kohn, "Obama, Hillary Clinton don't get trade,", April 24, 2015.
  4. Edward-Isaac Dovere and Annie Karni, "White House on trade deal: Hillary Clinton is with us,", April 23, 2015.
  5. Eric Garcia, "How Much Longer Can Hillary Clinton Go Without a Firm Position on Trade?" National Journal, April 22, 2015, Alex Seitz-Wald, "The two words that could solve Hillary Clinton's trade pickle,", April 22, 2015,
  6. Dana Milbank, "The trade-off Obama missed on trade," Washington Post, April 24, 2015.
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