PHILADELPHIA – Hillary Clinton hasn't been the Democratic nominee for even a day, and already the party's newly anointed 2016 ticket is facing questions over flip-flopping on key issues – immediately drawing fire from Donald Trump, who accused Clinton of betraying her supporters.
Clinton and vice presidential pick Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., grappled with claims of flip-flopping on both the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and federal funding of abortion.
Longtime Clinton ally and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe told Politico late Tuesday that he believes Clinton will ultimately support the TPP, with some tweaks.
When asked if Clinton would come around now that she is the nominee, McAuliffe said: “Yes. Listen, she was in support of it. There were specific things in it she wants fixed.”
Killing the deal has become a rallying cry for supporters of Bernie Sanders, many of whom arrived in Philadelphia carrying signs with the letters "TPP" crossed out. Sanders claims the deal would benefit big corporations, while sending jobs abroad and lowering wages.
Clinton, who once supported the proposal, tried to muffle that outcry during the primary season by reversing her support, in a rare break with the Obama administration. Yet that was before Sanders’ plucky revolution was formally quashed Tuesday night.
As McAuliffe's remarks caused a stir overnight, his spokesman later walked them back, and said the governor was merely expressing what he hoped Clinton would do as president and that he has “no expectation” that Clinton would change her position.
The Clinton campaign also flatly denied the claim, saying McAuliffe “got this one flat wrong.”
Love Gov. McAuliffe, but he got this one flat wrong. Hillary opposes TPP BEFORE and AFTER the election. Period. Full stop.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) July 27, 2016
The back-and-forth drew immediate fire from Trump, who has also opposed the deal, accusing Clinton of betraying her supporters.
Just like I have warned from the beginning, Crooked Hillary Clinton will betray you on the TPP. https://t.co/eoNTWK6I8y— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2016
As I have been saying, Crooked Hillary will approve the job killing TPP after the election, despite her statements to the contrary: top adv.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2016
“Just like I have warned from the beginning, Crooked Hillary Clinton will betray you on the TPP,” the billionaire tweeted.
The controversy came as her vice presidential pick, Virginia Sen. Kaine, is changing his position on an amendment that restricts the use of federal funds for abortions.
An aide confirmed to Fox News Tuesday that Kaine, who is Catholic and says he is personally opposed to abortion, has made a commitment to Clinton that he will support the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
Kaine has a mostly pro-choice record in the Senate, but has made an exception for the Hyde Amendment.
Kaine’s change in position comes as a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll shows 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion. Forty-four percent of Democrats, 84 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of independents oppose the funding, according to the poll.
Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and Shannon Bream contributed to this report.