Firefighters union leader on Biden endorsement: 'He has a track record of delivering'

The head of the International Association of Fire Fighters said Monday that the labor group backed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE’s 2020 presidential bid because he has a “proven track record” of representing union members and working families.

“He has a track record of delivering, and we’re a group that measures it pretty straightforward,” Harold Schaitberger told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti on “Rising.”

“Joe Biden has had the backs and stood with firefighters across this nation throughout his Senate career, and certainly as vice president of the United States, and so we’re now prepared to stand with him,” Schaitberger said.

He added that Biden has long supported a number of worker-related issues, including fair wages, retirement security and protecting union rights.

The International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents more than 300,000 firefighters and paramedics nationwide, endorsed Biden on Monday, making them the first major labor group to endorse a 2020 candidate.

"Joe's a lot like our firefighters. He's a problem solver who cares deeply about America and committed to making our country better,” Schaitberger said in the group’s video announcing the endorsement.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE later blasted union chiefs in general, saying in a tweet that he will "never get the support of Dues Crazy union leadership, those people who rip-off their membership with ridiculously high dues, medical and other expenses while being paid a fortune. But the members love Trump."

The firefighters union stayed on the sidelines during the 2016 election. Schaitberger, who was interviewed before Trump lashed out at union leaders on Monday, told Hill.TV that even though the group supported former President Obama's two campaigns, they could not get behind Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Trump, Biden tangle over Wall Street ties, fundraising The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage MORE three years ago.

"The fact of the matter is our membership supported Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama says he voted by mail: 'It's not as tough as a lot of folks think' Clean energy opportunities in a time of crisis MSNBC host cuts off interview with Trump campaign spokesman after clash on alleged voter fraud MORE in his first election and they supported his reelection," the union leader said. "Unfortunately, the candidate that followed, Hillary Clinton, seemed to abandon the voice and the connection and the issues that were critical to not to just firefighters but workers in general."

The endorsement came just hours before Biden is expected to hold his first official campaign event at a union hall in Pittsburgh.

—Tess Bonn