As Trump Returns to OH, New Video Shows Portman Praising CAFTA Trade Deal

Video: Portman Says He Was “Quarterback” Of Effort To Pass CAFTA

COLUMBUS, OH -- As Donald Trump returns to Ohio to hold a campaign rally, today the Strickland For Senate Campaign is releasing new video of Senator Portman on CNN in his role as the US Trade Representative praising the CAFTA trade deal and bragging about his role as the “quarterback” to pass this damaging trade agreement.

From David Bergstein, Strickland Campaign Spokesman: “Every time he comes to Ohio, Donald Trump is shining a bright, unflattering spotlight on Senator Portman’s decades long record of championing unfair trade deals that have outsourced hundreds of thousands of Ohio jobs. Take it from Portman himself: he was the ‘quarterback’ for job killing trade policies that have devastated Ohio’s economy and hurt our working families. It’s all just another reminder that Portman is an insider, an outsourcer, and everything Ohioans hate about Washington politics.”

Highlights from the video include:

  • Portman described himself as the “quarterback” of the effort to pass CAFTA, said he “talked about the economic benefits [of CAFTA] constantly,” and said “the benefits were clear.”

  • Portman describing CAFTA as a “fundamentally sound agreement,” a “fair trade agreement,” and a “good agreement for our country.” 

  • Portman praised members voting for CAFTA as “courageous members.”

VIDEO: Portman Said He Was “Quarterback” Of Effort To Pass CAFTA


Roll Call recently wrote that Trump’s position on trade “has put Sen. Rob Portman in a bind,” and that Portman’s “years of supporting trade agreements puts him at odds with GOP voters.” The Washington Times also highlighted the divisions between Portman and Trump on trade, writing that Portman has been a “forceful” free trade advocate. And during Trump’s last visit to Ohio, OSU political scientist Paul Beck told “If there’s anybody who stands for free trade, it’s Rob Portman.”

Following Trump’s last rally in Ohio, the Strickland campaign released video of Portman praising the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

On trade, the Columbus Dispatch wrote that “the voting records of Strickland and Portman are polar opposites.” Senator Portman has been called a “Dedicated Outsourcer;” supported 8 unfair trade deals; voted to grant China Permanent Most Favored Nation Status; refused to crack down on unfair Chinese steel imports as United States Trade Representative; and called efforts to stop Chinese currency manipulation “counter-productive.” Additional information about Portman’s record on trade is available at


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