Though Joe Biden has not even announced whether he will run for president, unions are already saying there is no compelling reason for them to back him.
“If Hillary would significantly stumble and it looked like she was hurt or wounded mortally in the campaign, then I think you would see not just Joe Biden but others coming on the stage,” National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told Bloomberg. “I don’t see that happening right now. And Joe isn’t doing any of the things that a candidate needs to do at this point in time to get into the game.”
Unions leaders have noted that they are unaware of any excitement for Biden to enter the race among the labor movement. If he did decide to run, Biden would be met with an already fierce battle between Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders. Both of whom are courting unions for support.
“I haven’t heard anybody talking about Joe Biden from labor,” South Central Iowa Federation of Labor President Mark Cooper also told Bloomberg. Biden, who serves as the vice president, has advocated for policies important to unions. He is a supporter of increasing the minimum wage and unions running job training programs.
Biden would enter an already contentious race. Hillary has lost support from many union leaders for her reluctance to take a firm stance against the international trade initiative known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It has even opened the door to those like Sanders to win union support. Sanders has stood on his opposition to the deal while Hillary has delayed giving a clear opinion on it.
“He stressed his opposition to job-killing trade deals starting with the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement and including opposition to this year’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership,” the campaign for Sanders noted in a press release. “With former Secretary of State Clinton’s reluctance to take a clear stand on the Pacific trade deal, the affiliation of unions was expected to withhold an endorsement at least for now.”
Nevertheless, many believe Biden will run. Reports say his son was even pushing him to run for president before he died.
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