During Wednesday’s debate, Mitt Romney focused several talking points around the claim that “middle income Americans are being crushed” under President Obama’s policies. On Thursday’s The Ed Show, Ed Schultz asked James Hoffa, labor leader and General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, if he believes that’s true.
Hoffa said no way. “Let’s look at what’s going on," he said. "The economy’s coming back, we basically have people working. Teamsters are working, UAW members are working, the auto industry is thriving, all the different people that work in the plants are back to work, so we have hundreds of thousands of people who have their jobs back. So that’s good news. We’re on our way back and we need some more time, that’s all. And for him to say they’ve been crushed, that’s not true. If anybody crushed them, it’s his party that crashed the economy in ’08.”
Despite Romney’s strong, impassioned plea for middle class votes during the first debate, Schultz said he believes it won’t be enough to overcome the damage caused by the secret 47 percent video. Additional hurdles for Romney, Schultz said, include his record of opposition to policies like the auto bailout and increasing the minimum wage—plus his running mate’s budget plan, which critics say could be devastating for the poor and middle class.
Hoffa agreed with Schultz and said labor was not swayed by Romney’s debate performance. “For him to all of a sudden say he cares about the middle class, I believe that video about the 47 percent," he said. "That’s what he thinks about us. ... He is against the things that we stand for, and the things that basically are a safety net for America right now. And no matter what you saw last night, it was a big lie. He basically tried to remake himself last night, but you know, we know the real Mitt Romney.”