Posted: 12:54 pm Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania –
As Democrats try to rally behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President, elected officials, union leaders and party activists are also using this convention week to do all they can to undermine Donald Trump’s message on trade, making the case that Trump’s record doesn’t back up his campaign talk.
“He makes money from trade agreements,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who rattled off a series of jabs at Trump at a breakfast meeting of the Ohio Democratic delegation on Wednesday.
“He stamps ‘Make America Great Again’ on his hat, but his ties and suits are made in China,” Brown told reporters.
At the same Ohio delegation meeting, that trade message on Trump was delivered in even more blunt terms by AFSCME International President Lee Saunders, as he warned Trump was not good for working Americans.
“Don’t fall for his bull****,” Saunders told cheering delegates, as the union leader said Trump is all talk.
“He is a phony, he is a fake, he is a charlatan,” the AFSCME chief yelled.
But while union leaders rail against Trump, there is deep concern among Democrats that rank and file union members – many of them working class whites – will not follow their leaders to vote for Hillary Clinton.
If you go to any Trump event in a Rust Belt state like Pennsylvania, Ohio or Indiana, it’s very easy to find people there who are union workers – and they’re more than ready to pull the lever for Trump and go against their unions.
And that has union leaders doing all they can to undermine Trump.
“I worked in the mines with tough guys,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told Democrats earlier this week. “And Donald, you’re no tough guy.”
“Donald Trump repeatedly has outsourced America’s jobs to line his own pockets,” Trumka said, echoing the arguments of other Democrats.
Trump though has been relentless on the trade issue, and it has clearly worked for him in some states – and during this Democratic convention, he’s made sure to stay on message.
“Donald Trump Has The Plan To Bring Back American Jobs,” was the headline of yet another trade-related email from the Trump campaign this morning.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.