Last month, the AFL-CIO endorsed Obama, quieting all the talk about any rift or lingering differences between the President and organized labor. Many Dems hope enthusiastic union support will help Obama limit losses among blue collar whites in the swing states — something that could prove decisive in the 2012 election.
Those hopes may have hit another snag: That rift has cracked open a bit once again.
In an interview just now, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka ripped into Obama for taking a key step this weekend towards the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement — which Trumka claimed would have domestic political ramifications for Obama. Trumka said continuing betrayal of labor would make it harder to turn out supporters this fall and was already muddying Obama’s efforts to draw a sharp contrast with Mitt Romney over who represents the 99 percent.
“The more these things happen, where workers interests are subjugated to other interests, it has a cumulative effect, making it harder for us to energize our members and get them out in the numbers necessary in the fall,” Trumka told me.
“The candidates have to decide whether they represent the 99 percent or the one percent,” Trumka continued. “Each time this happens, it obscures the clearness with which the president represents the 99 percent.”