United Auto Workers endorses Clinton over Trump

Posted at 8:53 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 20:53:11-04

The United Auto Workers Union endorsed Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, touting the Democratic front-runner as the “best choice for our members and our nation in the November election.”

The endorsement could be seen as a slight to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who is expected to make a significant push for working class workers in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, areas with high concentrations of UAW workers. Trump, the head of UAW said, did not return a questionnaire to the union.

“Hillary Clinton understands our issues on trade, understands the complexities of multinational economies and supports American workers, their families and communities,” Dennis Williams, UAW president, said in a statement. “Mr. Trump clearly does not support the economic security of UAW families.”

Clinton accepted the endorsement in a statement on Wednesday, pledging to punish countries like China who violate international trade laws and “give American workers a level playing field.”

“Autoworkers need more than tough talk on trade,” Clinton said. “They need a president who knows how to compete and win for American workers.”

Despite the Clinton endorsement, Williams said in an interview with MSNBC that an internal poll of the organization found 28% of members would back Trump. Williams said trade and immigration — two issues Trump speaks about regularly — are reasons their membership is drawn to the businessman.

Clinton has, at times, focused on auto production during her primary race against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, especially during contests in Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

“It is now our challenge to figure out how we are going to keep those jobs, grow those jobs, support those businesses, support those workers, support those unions so that we can have a renaissance in manufacturing,” Clinton said in Hammond, Indiana, last month. “I believe passionately we can do this.”

The Trump campaign is counting on white, working class voters in order to defeat Clinton in November, especially those in swing states.

A CNN/ORC poll release earlier this month found Trump gets 52% of white voters with Clinton getting 43%. By contrast, Romney won 59% of white voters in 2012, beating President Barack Obama solidly among white men and women.