Largest public sector union endorses Biden
The largest union representing public-sector employees in the U.S. endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) campaign on Monday as Biden consolidates his lead in the Democratic primary.
In a press release, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) stated that the decision was made unanimously by the organization’s executive board, and appeared to point to President Trump’s support for the GOP’s tax reform policy passed in 2017 as a reason for their endorsement, which did not mention’s Biden’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“The contrast in the upcoming general election could not be clearer,” said AFSCME president Lee Saunders.
“Vice President Biden is equal to the task and then some. He is a seasoned leader with the temperament and character to help Americans pull together in challenging and uncertain times. And he recognizes the urgency of helping public service workers who are on the front lines of containing the coronavirus pandemic,” Saunders said.
“By contrast, President Donald Trump, despite promising to look out for America’s ‘forgotten’ men and women, has further rigged the economy against them, enriching himself and his billionaire friends,” Saunders added.
The endorsement press release also hit the president over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which the union said did not display the leadership necessary in a crisis.
“The last several weeks have demonstrated more clearly than ever that Donald Trump, in addition to pursuing an agenda that kicks working people to the curb, does not have the right stuff to capably lead the nation through a grave public health crisis,” said Saunders.
“He has tried every way possible to destroy the Affordable Care Act – even supporting a lawsuit currently before the Supreme Court to have it ruled unconstitutional –and leave Americans with pre-existing conditions out in the cold. This is not the moment, in the middle of a pandemic, to undermine people’s health care,” he added.
The AFSCME’s endorsement is a blow to Sanders, who has sought to consolidate support from unions in the primary, and a boon to Biden as he emerges as the clear frontrunner for the nomination following victories on Super Tuesday and in later primary contests.
Sanders now trails Biden by more than 100 delegates, though many states have not voted and the primary calendar remains fluid due to the coronavirus outbreak.
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