For a long time, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka’s support for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been “lukewarm.” Trumka’s preferred candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-MA], has stated she’s not running for President (so far.).
In order to garner the labor federation’s endorsement for 2016, it seems that one of Trumka’s big tests is whether or not Clinton will back labor’s opposition to President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
In a video posted on Real Clear Politics, Trumka drew a bright line in the sand for Hillary Clinton.
RICHARD TRUMKA: I don’t know [where Hillary Clinton stands on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement]. She is going to have to answer that. She won’t be able to go through a campaign without answering that. And people take it seriously and it will affect whether they vote for her or do not vote for her.
She may not know whether it is a good deal or not, but she’ll get a chance to read it, and when she does she will have to declare one way or the other. Support it or she won’t support it, she either believes in fast track or she doesn’t.
What if Hillary supports the TPP?
TRUMKA: It would be tougher to mobilize working people. It will be tougher to get them excited and working, out there door-knocking and leafleting. And phone banking and all the things that are going to be necessary for her if she is the candidate.
And we would endorse her, this would make it far more difficult.
Well you aren’t going to support Republicans?
TRUMKA: Well, there is another alternative as well, we could not endorse for president. That is conceivable. If both candidates weren’t interested in raising wages and creating jobs. If neither one had a program that we were convinced they would fight for, not just a poll-tested slogan, but an actual agenda they will fight for.
If we are convinced that neither candidate has that, I think we would spend our money elsewhere. Probably on Senate and Congressional candidates and governors and statehouses where we would have a much greater effect.