AFL-CIO chief: Trump pulled 'bait-and-switch' on working-class voters

AFL-CIO chief: Trump pulled 'bait-and-switch' on working-class voters
© Getty

President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE pulled a “switcheroozy” on working-class voters after the 2016 election, the nation’s top labor leader said Tuesday.

The president campaigned on the promise of helping workers find high-paying jobs. But AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters that Trump’s failed attempt to repeal ObamaCare would’ve hurt many of the same working-class voters who helped elect him.

The labor boss also criticized moves by Trump to roll back health and safety protections for workers during a speech to the National Press Club.

“If you pull a bait-and-switch on working people, if you say that you’re with us and then attack us, you’re going to fail,” Trumka said.

“When the president says, ‘I’m for you,’ and then he does the old switcheroozy and he pulls a healthy or safety regulation that hurts us, we’ll let him know.”


The AFL-CIO endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE ahead of the 2016 election, but many of the Midwestern union workers the organization represents opted for Trump.

Since then, Trump has taken several steps that have left those workers wondering where his loyalties lie, Trumka said.

“President Trump needs to decide who he stands with,” he said.

“We’re closing in on first 100 days of President Trump’s administration, and two very different factions have emerged,” Trumka explained. “There’s a Wall Street wing that seeks to undermine Donald Trump’s promises to workers. And there’s a competition wing that could actually win some progress that working people need.”

“I’m concerned the Wall Street wing of the White House is starting to hijack the agenda,” he said.

Trumka admitted the AFL-CIO has some issues of its own that need fixing, starting with finding a new strategy to win back many of the working-class voters who sided with Trump.

“We will not be an ATM for any political party,” Trumka said. “We’ll stand up to the corporate Republicans who attack working people and the neoliberal Democrats who take us for granted.”

“It gets frustrating to us when people say, ‘Why do you support so many Democrats?’ Give me more Republicans that support our issues and we’ll support them. But we can’t find them. We look everywhere, trust me. We look under rocks, but we can’t find them.”