Union leaders encouraged President Obama to bypass Congress more often and urged his campaign to zero in on jobs in a conference call with reporters today.
Labor presidents Richard Trumka of AFL-CIO and Leo Gerard of USW slammed Romney on reports that Bain Capital invested in companies that outsourced jobs, calling him a “happy outsourcer,” and said that Obama should use executive privilege more often as opposed to working with Congress.
“I think the president should try to, wherever possible, act without the blessing of Congress where he can,” said Gerard. “Because it’s clear that the Republican House of Representatives and Mitt Romney go to bed every night and get on their knees and say their prayers that no jobs are created the next day. They’re doing everything thye can to prevent job creation.”
He named several areas in which Obama could intervene with executive privilege, including “addressing currency manipulation by other countries” and taxing the overseas income of U.S. corporations. Obama drew criticism last week when he used executive privilege in response to Rep. Darrell Issa’s requests in the Fast and Furious case.
Americans United for Change held the call in response to a Washington Post story from last night that detailed how Bain invested in companies that sent jobs overseas during Romney’s tenure.
The union presidents, who were also joined by CWA president Larry Cohen, discussed how the Obama campaign should respond to “one of the godfathers of outsourcing,” in Gerard’s words. Asked for advice they would give the Obama campaign in swing states, Trumka said “Three things. Jobs, jobs, and more jobs.”
“I disagree with Richard, I think it should be six things,” Gerard said. “Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs.”
Trumka also touched on last night’s election of new AFSCME president Lee Saunders, whose election is seen as a sign that the huge union will pour more money into the presidential race.
Saunders will “put tremendous energy into every one of the programs at AFSCME,” Trumka said.