From: Wolf Blitzer/CNN
Subject: Open Microphone Catches Candian Prime Minister's Criticism Of Clinton
Captured on videotape, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien had some rather undiplomatic comments about Bill Clinton while waiting for the U.S. president to arrive at a NATO meeting in Madrid today.
Chretien, apparently unaware that he was speaking into an open microphone, told Belgium Prime Minister Jean-Luc Deheane and Luxemburg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker that President Clinton was in favor of NATO expansion because it wins votes.
"In your country, in my country, all the politicians would be in prison because they sell their votes," Chretien said.
Speaking in French, the Canadian prime minister said, "It's not reasons of state. It's all done for short-term political reasons, to win elections. Take the quarrel over whether to admit the Baltic states. That has noting to do with world security. It's because in Chicago, Mayor Daley controls lots of votes for the nomination."
The three leaders laughed as they waited for the president and his advisors to arrive for the meeting.
Juncker: "And if we started without them?"
Deheane: "To prove that we know what to do without them."
Juncker: "To prove we're independent. He (Chretien), he's used to not doing what they want."
Chretien: "I make it my policy. But it's popular. The Cuba affair [an apparent reference to the Helms-Burton Law, passed by Congress in an effort to choke off investment in Cuba.] I was the first to stand up (against it.)"
They then had a good laugh among themselves.
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