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“Richard Trumka Unloads On Trump”: ‘Racist’, ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Un-American’

The nation’s top labor leader Tuesday morning blasted GOP front-runner Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants as “dangerous,” “racist” and “un-American.”

Speaking at a press breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was – no surprise – critical of the entire GOP field, but he used his harshest language for Trump, the real estate magnate/reality TV star who has stunningly risen to a dominant position in the GOP presidential field powered at least in part by his offensive rhetoric about immigrants in this country without legal status, asserting that Mexico is “sending people” who are criminals, drug mules and “rapists.”

“What Donald Trump started with immigration is dangerous,” Trumka said. “I think it’s un-American and I think it’s racist. It’s saying that one group of people is superior to another group of people. And look what it’s done to the other candidates.” He noted former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s ongoing use of the term “anchor babies,” that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has referred to illegal immigrants as a “disease” and that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suggested that immigrants into this country be tracked like FedEx packages. (Ummm, how would that work exactly? Would everyone coming into the country have RFID transponders implanted in them? Bar code tattoos – aka the “mark of the beast“?!?)

Trumka said that the danger of Trump lies in mainstreaming his toxic views. “When the leading candidate for one of the parties talks in an un-American, racist way it starts to become mainstream. Racism can never become mainstream. … All of them are talking about it in the same way now because in order to pander to the right they have to go so far to the right beyond what – probably – most of them genuinely believe, but if they intend to govern that way, that’s bad for this country.” He added: “Someone has to stand up and say, ‘Enough, knock it off.'”

It’s a strikingly tough denunciation given all of the talk of Trump’s nativist appeal specifically playing well among blue-collar workers.

Trumka was also unsparing in his criticism of the rest of the GOP field, calling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker a “national disgrace” and saying that “one can only pray” that Walker or Perry is the GOP nominee. (Tough talk given the track record, but hey – maybe fourth time’s the charm?) He said that when Bush talks about income inequality he’s just “mouth[ing] words” and said that Ohio Gov. John Kasich – who loves talking about how his father was a mailman – abandoned his working class roots. “His dad’s sweat and his mom’s sweat put him in a position” where he could side with Main Street or Wall Street, Trumka said, and Kasich chose Wall Street.

On the Democratic side, Trumka warned that Hillary Clinton needs to stop avoid taking a stance on trade deals and trade promotion authority. “Candidates that try to skirt the issues, not talking about where you are on [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] hurts you when it comes to activating the membership and the general populace,” he said. “They want to know where you are, even when they disagree with you.” He added that if she can produce a credible pro-worker narrative, “she could catch fire too.” Speaking of how pundits view the former first lady, Trumka said, “Hillary Clinton needs to do A+ work in order to get a C. And do you know why? Because she’s a woman.”

Trumka said that Obama’s strong support of fast-track trade authority has hurt his standing among workers, though they still support him overall. Asked about a new Gallup poll showing a decline in Obama’s approval rating among union members to essentially its lowest point (the difference between his current 52 percent and his previous lows of 51 percent is statistically insignificant) Trumka replied that “what you’re seeing is the residuals” of Obama’s push for Trade Promotion Authority and a Pacific trade deal. “He supported it firmly, still does and we oppose it,” Trumka said.

And Trumka vowed a huge labor push over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal that’s still being negotiated: “You asked me if I intend to run a campaign against TPP? Yes. Is it going to be intense? Yes. Is it going to roll out everything we have? Yes.” He noted that the union is still working on specific issues involved in the agreement, such as procurement rules and rule of origin details that labor is still working to influence. He also said that China’s recent devaluation of its currency had raised old issues about currency manipulation rules being in the agreement. “If it’s an acceptable bill we’ll run a campaign to pass it, if it isn’t we’ll run a campaign to defeat it,” he said. “I suspect it’ll be a campaign to defeat it.”


By: Robert Schlesinger, U. S. News and World Report, September 1, 2015

September 2, 2015 - Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, Richard Trumka, Working Class | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. All people need to speak up when they see boorish and racist behavior. It cannot just be Trumka who does it.


    Comment by btg5885 | September 2, 2015 | Reply

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