The president of the country’s largest firefighters union has responded after Donald Trump lashed out at the union for endorsing Joe Biden for president in 2020, Yahoo News reports.
On Wednesday, Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, endorsed the former vice president in a statement on the union’s website.
“Based on his unequaled record on our union’s basket of issues and our long-standing core value of having our friends’ backs, the IAFF… has voted unanimously to endorse Joe Biden in his run for president of the United States in the Democratic primary.”
Donald Trump didn’t take the news well.
I’ve done more for Firefighters than this dues sucking union will ever do, and I get paid ZERO! https://t.co/Tw0qwTiUD6— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2019
The Dues Sucking firefighters leadership will always support Democrats, even though the membership wants me. Some things never change!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2019
Trump also stated that none of the IAFF firefighters he knows are planning on voting for Biden.
Speaking to Time, Schaitberger said that he’s aware that not every last member of his union is going to vote for Biden or any Democrat who opposes Trump and that some of the members will be voting for Trump, which is their right.
Schaitberger also made it clear that Trump’s attacks on his union aren’t going to thwart his endorsement of Biden. Schaitberger also noted that Biden’s platform is one that lines up with at least some of the needs of IAFF members.
“[Biden] runs in the middle of the political spectrum on a worker-focused platform — and that’s where we have to be a strong voice.”
“I’m just going to continue to communicate out what we do and not directly respond to unpleasant and unseemly and inaccurate tweets,” Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters | Time https://t.co/BZN1fT3B4M— Joan Pritcher (@joanpritcher) May 2, 2019
Historically, Democrats have generally found support in unions, and indeed, Biden himself has been touting his strong union ties as part of his campaign. Similarly, other 2020 Democrats have also tried to curry favor with unions, usually successfully. California Senator Kamala Harris, for example, won support from two major teachers unions when she announced her plan to boost teacher pay. Similarly, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren joined a picket line of striking Stop & Shop workers when she campaigned around Massachusetts last month, even going so far as to bring donuts to the striking workers.
Trump, however, has accused unions of stealing members’ money and then endorsing Democrats, even though their rank-and-file members likely support him.
As for Schaitberger and the firefighters union, this is not the first time the two sides have been at odds. At The Inquisitr reported at the time, back in November 2018, as California firefighters were battling multiple wildfires, Trump criticized the firefighters and even threatened to withhold federal aid to California if the state didn’t change the way it managed its wilderness areas. Schaitberger called Trump’s tweets “reckless” and “insulting.”