Reports say that the influential Teamsters union may snub Hillary Clinton in favor of endorsing a Republican candidate such as Donald Trump for the White House in 2016.
Such a move would likely be a notable boost for Republicans with Independents and “Reagan Democrats,” a critical segment of swing-voters that candidates spend millions trying to woo. These “middle of the road” type voters are crucial to winning bellwether regions like Michigan’s Macomb County.
Clinton also faces snubs from other powerful unions like the AFL-CIO and AFSCME, refusing to back Hillary as they try to push Vice President Joe Biden into the race.
According to The Gateway Pundit:
“Teamsters officials met behind closed doors today. The union refused to endorse Hillary Clinton for president. The officials told FOX News they want to meet with Donald Trump.
James Rosen reported:
FOX News has learned exclusively the 26 member board decided unanimously to withhold a presidential endorsement… Union executives told me they want to sit down with Republican candidates, most noatably, front-runner Donald Trump who has collaborated with unionized work forces across his real estate career.”
Former Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra says Trump won’t likely be the only GOP Presidential hopeful they sit down with.
“I would be surprised if they only met with Trump,” Hoekstra said in an interview with CIB. “They should meet with others. I think John Kasich might be worth a look from them, Rand Paul has shown a willigness to work with people, Marco Rubio perhaps also-there’s four right there.”
Hoekstra says the group may not want to meet with Jeb Bush.
“Hoffa tried to reach out and was constantly rebuffed by the Bush administration,” Hoekstra said. “So they probably wouldn’t want to meet with Jeb.”
Hoekstra is well acquainted with the Teamsters, which he says is immensely professional and more independent than other unions.
“I was part of the investigation in the late 90’s resulting in removal of corrupt leadership from the Teamsters, but I have a good relationship with Jim Hoffa,” Hoekstra said. “They have a nasty reputation with some people, but were always professional when I worked with them. They had the ability to move from issue to issue and it was impressive. It was never personal. And the way they are run is the way some people wish the GOP would be, from the bottom up, driven by their members.”
Hoekstra says problems between Clinton and the group go way back, with the strained relationship now hurting Clinton’s endorsement prospects.
“They aren’t that interested in meeting with Hillary,” Hoekstra said. “Bill and Hillary were big supporters of Ron Kerry, who took the Teamsters down the road of corruption and used the group as a piggy bank for the Clinton’s. That’s why Hoffa went with Obama over Hillary in 2008.”
Reagan Dems and Independents are immensely important, and Hoekstra says it would be a benefit to a Republican candidate if the Teamsters were to endorse.
“Unions endorsed Ronald Reagan,” Hoekstra said. “It really helps to have a broad cross-section of voters as part of your coalition, and that includes the Teamsters and other unions. They are full of Independents and Reagan Democrats that we can’t write off if we want to win.”
Macomb County, Michigan, has a population of approx. 850,000 people and is a prominent swing region. Macomb is known for a strong independent streak and is the home of many Reagan Dems.
According to pollster Steve Mitchell, all the GOP candidates being polled against Hillary in that critical Macomb region are beating her soundly.
“In Macomb, all three GOP candidates lead by a good margins; Trump by 27%, Rubio by 10% and Bush by 9%,” Mitchell said in a press release.
The Teamsters backing Trump or another GOP hopeful isn’t Clinton’s only union problem. Marquee union groups like AFSCME and the AFL-CIO are leaving Hillary high and dry, withholding support as they wait to see if Vice President Joe Biden enters the race.
According to Politico:
“Two major unions have decided to delay endorsements in the presidential race — a move labor insiders attribute in part to the uncertainty Vice President Joe Biden’s potential run has inserted into the Democratic primary.
The decisions are a setback for Hillary Clinton, who has been courting the labor giants in the hopes of an early lock down of two powerhouse unions that can organize millions of members and resources on the ground. And they come against the backdrop of a Clinton campaign show of force — in terms of establishment donors, delegates and endorsements — as Biden weighs his options. Adding the support of two of the most muscular unions now would have sent a powerful message there is little room in the race for the vice president.
The executive committee of the 2-million strong Service Employees International Union gathered on Sept. 16 and 17 for meetings where many had been expecting agreement on endorsing Clinton, according to union insiders, although a vote was not on the schedule. The board of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — the country’s largest public employee union, which endorsed Clinton in 2007 and has been expected to do so this year — also held meetings in Washington, D.C., on Monday and Tuesday this week that presented an occasion for AFSCME to endorse.
Both unions, however, chose to put off any decision and remain uncommitted in the 2016 race. “We are determined to take the time necessary to make sure every voice is heard,” an AFSCME official told POLITICO.”