AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka branded Donald Trump a "fraud," and predicted a win for Hillary and a Democratic majority in the Senate, at a D.C. breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday morning.
Trumka slammed Trump, saying he gives Democrats “ample ammunition” to woo voters into the Democratic Party column.
“Our members are coming to the realization that he is a fraud, that he is an opportunist, that he tells a whopper every five minutes according to the fact-checkers,” said Trumka. “They just don’t believe him on trade, because he’s done exactly the opposite of what should be done. [Trump] supports right to work 100 percent He thinks [corporate raider] Carl Icahn would be a good secretary of the treasury.”
The president of the 12.5 million-member American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations went on to spell out the Republican seats that are top targets of organized labor’s efforts.
“We’re focused on six states,” Trumka told me. “Tier one are Pennsylvania [GOP Sen. Pat Toomey], Ohio [Sen. Rob Portman], Wisconsin [Sen. Ron Johnson] Florida [Sen. Marco Rubio], and Missouri [Sen. Roy Blunt].”
The sixth state is Nevada, he added, where Democratic Sen. Harry Reid is retiring and Republican Rep. Joe Heck and former state attorney general and Democratic nominee Catherine Cortez Masto are locked in a tight battle.
Making it clear that liberal Democrat Katie McGinty’s challenge to Republican Toomey was the top priority of the AFL-CIO in the six Senate races, Trumka noted that “we have a large membership in Pennsylvania — 1 in 5 voters will come from a union household in Pennsylvania.”
The union chieftain specifically spelled out what he called “probably the most aggressive effort we’ve waged in years.”
“They will be getting mail week after week, and worksite visits, [where] we’ll be talking to them issue-after-issue and bringing them information. They’ll be getting phone calls, they’ll be betting door knocks.”
Trumka also noted that the unions “have roughly 100,000 volunteers in those six states collectively doing phone banks, door knocks, or leafletting, or a combination of those. Local unions are doing same things on the ground.”
Asked about polls showing Ohio’s Portman with a growing lead over former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and Democrats reducing their advertising in the Buckeye State, Trumka conceded that his Senate favorite needed to make some changes in his campaign.
“The top of the ticket will help, but a candidate needs to be a candidate,” he said. “I think Ted needs to be more aggressive. He needs to call Portman out. Portman wrote all of these trade agreements, but now he pretends to be against TPP. We’ll see.
Although focused on the presidential election and Senate races, Trumka did stop short of predicting a Democratic capture of the House.
“That’ll depend on the presidential election,” he said, “We’ll gain some seats, but that will depend on how big the win is in the presidential election.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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