Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talked about the divisive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal Sunday, following earlier criticism from rival Bernie Sanders concerning her lack of a stance on the deal. While Clinton didn't necessarily take a strong stance, it was a shift away from her previous position of not addressing the deal until negotiations are completed.
Sanders criticized Clinton's lack of stance on television Sunday morning. He urged Clinton to join opponents of the trade legislation -- criticized by many Democrats -- before the package is again put up for a vote.
"Corporate America and Wall Street are going to bring that bill back," Sanders said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "If she joins us, we could stop this disastrous deal once and for all."
Clinton, in turn, spoke about the trade deal later during a speech at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. She said President Barack Obama should work with Democrats to improve the deal for workers and to make it more transparent -- or there should be no deal at all.
"The president should listen to and work with his allies in Congress, starting with Nancy Pelosi, who had expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers to make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible," Clinton said, according to the Associated Press. "And if we don't get it, there should be no deal."
House Democrats voted Friday to help kill the Trade Adjustment Assistance program by a vote of 302-126, which -- because of the way the legislation was packaged -- prevented Obama from receiving fast-track authority for trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Fast-track helps clear the way for such deals to gain approval because Congress is allowed just an up-or-down vote.
Friday’s vote preventing fast track was a crushing blow to Obama's trade agenda. Clinton said while some people are completely for or against the deal, she wants to see it improved as much as possible and then face a vote. "Let's take the lemons and turn them into lemonade," Clinton said about the trade deal situation, according to the Des Moines Register. The trade legislation package could be brought up for a vote again as early as this week.
Clinton says we should be able to get a better, more transparent trade deal. "Let's take the lemons and turn them into lemonade."
— Tony Leys (@tonyleys) June 14, 2015
Sanders has been an outspoken critic of free trade and the recent trade legislation. In her former position as secretary of state, Clinton played a significant role in talks with the 11 other nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Clinton campaign manager John Podesta said previously Clinton would wait until a deal is struck before passing a judgment.
"She has a clear standard that it's got to be good for American workers or she thinks the United States should walk away from it," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."