FLASHBACK: Obama campaigned to walk picket line as president if collective bargaining rights threatened

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Some on the left have questioned if President Barack Obama has done enough to show his support for the pro-labor union protesters in Wisconsin. Indeed, it is true the Obama administration hasn’t shown too much of a willingness to jump into this fight that has placed the Wisconsin state Senate at a stalemate.

However,  CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” has found a video of an Obama 2007 campaign speech from Spartanburg, S.C. which suggests he should be on the frontlines with the protesters right now.

“[I]f American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself — I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America.”


In response to that clip, Wisconsin Democratic state Sen. Fred Risser seemingly gave Obama a pass, suggesting the president might be too busy to walk the picket line as he suggested in 2007.

“Listen, he’s a pretty busy man,” Risser said on Thursday’s “The Kudlow Report” on CNBC. “He’s made several pronouncements in support of what we’re doing and I would not be surprised if he had other matters to keep him busy. But he has publicly announced that he supports the working people. The great middle class in this country is based on the fact that the workers have certain rights. We don’t want the workers’ rights to be eliminated by a fast track, speedy, under suspension of the rules bill which the governor has proposed. That’s why we walked out to give people time to find out what’s really going on.”