The Country’s Biggest Union Leader Wants Elizabeth Warren to Be President

He said Warren is “the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States.”

Elizabeth Warren takes the stage for her acceptance after beating incumbent U.S. Senator Scott Brown at the Copley Fairmont November 6, 2012 Boston, Massachusetts. The campaign was highly contested and closely watched and went down to the wire.
National Journal
Emma Roller
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Emma Roller
April 16, 2014, 8:56 a.m.

Richard Trumka, pres­id­ent of the AFL-CIO, Amer­ica’s largest fed­er­a­tion of labor uni­ons, may be the most vis­ible uni­on lead­er in the coun­try. And he’s cer­tainly not shy about shar­ing his polit­ic­al opin­ions.

In a Red­dit “Ask Me Any­thing” ses­sion, one user asked Trumka for his thoughts on Sen. Eliza­beth War­ren.

“I have met Eliza­beth War­ren on mul­tiple oc­ca­sions,” Trumka re­spon­ded. “In my opin­ion, she is the pro­to­type of a per­son we would want to be pres­id­ent of the United States. She has a very well-defined set of val­ues and un­like many politi­cians, she ac­tu­ally sticks by those val­ues and fights to im­ple­ment them.”

“In short,” he wrote, “it don’t get no bet­ter.”

This isn’t the first time Trumka has touted War­ren. He has known her since be­fore her days in the U.S. Sen­ate, and cam­paigned for her in 2012. “There may be dozens of good reas­ons for us to vote for her, but it’s crazy not to vote for her be­cause she’s a wo­man, or be­cause she’s a col­lege pro­fess­or, or for any oth­er su­per­fi­cial reas­on,” he told Mas­sachu­setts uni­on mem­bers.

Un­for­tu­nately for Trumka, War­ren has clearly said she doesn’t plan  to run for high­er of­fice in 2016. “I’m not run­ning for pres­id­ent, and I plan to serve out my term,” the sen­at­or said at a press con­fer­ence last Decem­ber.

Like War­ren, Trumka is a huge ad­voc­ate of fin­an­cial reg­u­la­tions and Wall Street re­forms, in ad­di­tion to labor rights. In an in­ter­view with Salon in 2011, Trumka railed against the U.S. wage gap. “If you look at what happened for the last 30 years, the rich and the well-to-do and the cor­por­a­tions had a party, and work­ing people wer­en’t in­vited to the party,” he said.

Dur­ing his Red­dit AMA, Trumka was also asked what the AFL-CIO plans to do in the face of uni­ons’ de­clin­ing power. “We are work­ing di­li­gently with our pro­gress­ive friends and al­lies and stra­tegic part­ners to change the policies that spawned this flat-wage, im­mob­ile eco­nomy,” he said. Uni­ons have a friend in War­ren.

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