|Barack Obama pitching to building trade unions|
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Barack Obama mingled with allies on Monday, but this year it appears they're not as committed to the Democratic party than they have been in the past. The president spoke to a crowd of union workers affiliated with the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO -- it runs a Political Action Committee -- as he criticized Republicans for killing multiple jobs bills that he claimed would have put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back to work.
With Democrats lagging in the PAC's House donations, the president was reminding workers that the rival GOP has worked against construction unions at one of the most difficult periods for the building and constructing sector. "It's always an honor to be with folks who get up every day and fight for America's workers," Obama said to the crowd in Washington D.C. "Along the way, unions like yours made sure folks everywhere got a fair shake and a fair shot." Unions like these have supported mostly Republican candidates running in 2012 for the House and Senate, but historically have contributed about 71% to Democrats since 1998. Though the PAC hasn't historically contributed to presidential campaigns -- Obama didn't receive anything in 2008, according to records -- it does play a sizable role in the races for many congressional seats. In 2012, the Building and Construction Trades Department of AFL-CIO PAC has contributed $103,500 to House Republicans against just $83,125 to House Democrats, while Senate Democrats got $16,500 versus $1,000 for Republicans,
according to OpenSecrets.org. The speech, which sought to reinforce Obama's commitment to union construction workers, rehashed the popular campaign rhetoric that the president has been ramping up since Mitt Romney became the presumed GOP nominee. Obama knocked millionaires and billionaires for not paying their "fair share" of taxes, talked about protecting the middle class, and blamed Republicans for playing politics as usual. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >Contact by Email. Follow @JoeDeaux