AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka believes Hillary Clinton is “very, very qualified to be president,” but warned that Big Labor’s endorsement won’t come if she hires an economic team that thinks like those of President Obama or her husband, former President Clinton.
Setting a very high bar for Clinton’s economic choices, Trumka told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that he would not approve of anyone who supports the Bill Clinton-endorsed NAFTA free trade plan or economists from Obama’s school of choice, the University of Chicago’s School of Business.
Trumka also warned against relying on advisors from Wall Street, where she has deep roots and close ties to many big firms. Those off limits, he said, are "People who think Wall Street is the be-all, end-all. Those that came from, participated in, and will go back to Wall Street."
His message: Those teams cost labor jobs, and picking them will cost her labor’s endorsement.
“If you get the same economic team you are going to get the same results and the same results aren’t good enough for working people,” he told reporters at the Monitor Breakfast for Washington journalists.
Still, Trumka said that she is the leader of the 2016 pack and is ready to be president. “I think Hillary did an excellent job as secretary of state. I think she is very, very qualified to be president. I would be interested before we made a decision to go there to see who the economic team is because the economic team to us is important.”
However, he wants her to run in a primary and warned against the Democrats handing her the nomination.
“Any time anybody believes there is going to be a coronation, that’s dangerous for the candidate,” he said.
Plus, he told a reporter who called Clinton the virtual nominee, “I think there are people out there who may disagree with you. You might want to ask [Maryland Gov.] Martin O’Malley whether he agrees with that.”Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.