Unable to gain broad support among the labor movement, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton Thursday attacked her one rival most defined by union opposition — Republican candidate Gov. Scott Walker.
“What happens when you are a proud union member and you have a governor that wants to drive you out?” Hillary declared, according to The New York Times. “[He] gets his marching orders from the Koch Brothers and just goes down the list.”
Hillary spoke at a rally in Walker’s home state of Wisconsin. In 2011 during his first term as governor of the state, Walker gained national attention by reining in union power. A key provision of his reforms, known as Act 10, allowed state employees to choose whether they wanted to pay union dues. While speaking in Illinois, Walker made clear he will do the same thing for federal employees if elected president.
“On day one, I’m going to stop the government from taking money out of the paychecks of federal employees for political union dues,” Walker said according to Bloomberg. “I don’t think any worker in this country should be required to put money into a political fund that doesn’t support candidates that they don’t support.”
Since enacting Act 10 unions have become his main opposition. Hillary, on the other hand, has struggled to gain traction with the labor movement. This despite her being the Democratic frontrunner. At the moment only few unions are supporting her campaign. Some major unions are hesitant to endorse anyone while many more are backing her primary rival Bernie Sanders. It was her reluctance to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which first put her at odds with organized labor.
“While you pander to union bosses,” Walker responded over Tweeter. “I give workers freedom to choose if they want to be in a union or not.”
Hillary is also the subject of some alleged scandals involving her time as secretary of state. She has been accused of mishandling the 2012 Benghazi attacks and is now being investigated for how she handled classified information. This includes using a private server housed in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home and deletion of data and emails.
With how much unions oppose Walker, attacking him might gain Hillary some support. One of her aides has even told The New York Times her best chance to break through the scandals is to directly contrast herself to the Republicans.
This, though, is not the first time the two presidential hopefuls have gone after each other. Walker has challenged Hillary‘s record as a public servant numerous times. Hillary on the other hand has attacked Walker for defunding Planned Parenthood while governor of Wisconsin.
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