Trumka blasted by teachers union boss for keeping door open on Trump 2020 endorsement
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is getting an earful – on Twitter – from teachers union boss Randi Weingarten for reportedly keeping the door open to a possible Trump endorsement in 2020.
Newsmax reported Wednesday that Trumka would not rule out a union endorsement for the president.
“He will be looked at,” Trumka was quoted as telling the publication. “Every one [of the candidates] will be looked at.” He added, “we will consider every candidate who’s running in 2020.”
Trumka simply may have been stating union policy, not wanting to get ahead of an endorsement process that is nowhere close to starting, for an election more than two years out.
At the same time, he noted to Newsmax that Trump did better with AFL-CIO members than Mitt Romney did in 2012, while Hillary Clinton fared worse than then-President Barack Obama in 2012. And Trumka sought to explain why some union members backed the current president: “They were looking for someone who was going to change the economy. They felt there were assaults on their health care and assaults on their pensions.”
He went on to say most of Trump’s promises for working people have been “broken or unfulfilled,” while praising the president on trade.
Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, let rip when she saw the story posted with a headline saying Trumka “won’t rule out unions endorsing Trump.”
“THIS MUST BE A TYPO.. @RichardTrumka please clarify…. this can’t possibly be what you said,” Weingarten wrote.
She also tweeted, “In my convos w union members & workers all over USA, it’s clear they oppose the damage Trump is doing. Yes we want him to help steel workers but his tax giveaways to the rich, attacks on ACA, his divisiveness, his attacks on democracy & his caging of children are disqualifying.”
Asked Thursday about the story and the tweet, an AFL-CIO spokeswoman called the original headline “click-bait” and stressed the context of Trumka’s remarks, which can be seen here.
Trumka and the AFL-CIO did endorse Clinton in the 2016 race. And in March of that year, Trumka delivered a blistering speech calling Trump a “bigot” who was “running on hate” and not really a friend of the working class.
Back in January, The Hill reported that Trumka said Trump was using his office to hurt working people, warning “if he continues down his current path, workers will be looking for a new president in 2020.” And Trumka was no fan of the June Supreme Court decision, reached with help from Trump’s pick Justice Neil Gorsuch, against mandatory union fees for state government workers.
The union boss has tempered his language since, however, saying recently that Trump is moving in the right direction on trade, though his tariffs should be more focused.