AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that it was “conceivable” the AFL-CIO might not endorse Hillary Clinton and warned her of the consequences of taking the wrong position on trade in an interview with USA Today’s “Capital Download” released on Thursday.
Trumka said (relevant remarks being around 4:00) that he didn’t know where Hillary stands on TPA and TPP “I think she’s going to have to answer that. I think she won’t be able to go through a campaign without answering that, and people will take it seriously, and it will affect whether they vote for her or don’t vote for her.” Although he added that she may not know what’s in the deal, but once she reads it, she’ll have to take a position.
Trumka was then asked what the political ramifications would be if Hillary took a position “similar to the one she’s taken in the past when it comes to these big trade deals.” He answered, “It will be tougher to mobilize working people. It’ll be tougher to get them to come out excited and work to do door-knocking and leafleting and phone-banking and all the things that are going to be necessary for her if she’s the candidate and we would endorse her to get elected. It’ll make it far more difficult.”
Interviewer Susan Page followed-up that since the AFL-CIO won’t endorse a Republican candidate, what the cost would really be if he wasn’t happy with Hillary. He stated, “Well, there’s another alternative as well, you can not endorse for president,” which he said was “conceivable” if “If both candidates didn’t — weren’t interested in raising wages and creating jobs. If neither one had a program that we were convinced that they would fight for, not just a poll-tested slogan, but an actual agenda that they will fight for. If we’re convinced that neither candidate has that, then I think we would spend our money elsewhere.”
Trumka concluded that he did “respect” that Hillary had been “asking Americans what they want and what they need.”
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