Nine Democrats with eyes on the Whitehouse in 2020 addressed attendees on the second day of the North America’s Building Trades Unions’ Legislative Conference.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Tim Ryan, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Eric Swalwell, in that order, addressed the roughly 3,000 union construction workers from across the country who attended the conference on April 10.
Using varied approaches, every candidate promised to support pro-worker and particularly pro-building trades causes, including protecting Davis Bacon, opposition to So-Called “Right to Work” initiatives and
passage of a bill to fund federal infrastructure improvements.
While most of the Democratic hopefuls either directly or indirectly mentioned President Trump, no one specifically mentioned the fact tens of thousands of construction workers in 2016 voted for Trump, especially in key Electoral College swing states like Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Remarks by both Warren and Harris included details about increased infrastructure funding and Hickenlooper, Booker and Klobuchar all vowed to protect Prevailing Wage.
Only Warren, Harris and Klobuchar specifically mentioned the intent of some Republican legislators to repeal of the 72-year-old federal provision to let states enact So-Called “Right to Work” laws.
Most of the candidates talked about ways to bring a divided nation back together. Ryan, Booker, Warren and Harris all included goals to bring the nation together and end the rancor, divisiveness, hate and distrust pushed by the Trump administration.
Ryan was the only one candidate who discussed competition from Russia and China.
The nine Democrats who addressed the NABTU legislative conference make up roughly half of the field for the upcoming 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Throughout the next year, a great deal of political talk lies ahead before the first vote is cast in the primary election.