Joe Biden likes to position himself as the most union-friendly candidate, but the feeling doesn’t seem to be mutual — at least, judging by turnout.
For the last few years, Biden has appeared in Detroit for the Labor Day union parade there, but this year, he opted for Iowa, a critical early state in the primary process.
During a stop in Iowa City — the fifth largest city in the state — only tens of unionists turned out to see the so-called front runner.
Speaking for about 3 minutes and standing on a picnic table seat, Biden said, “You built the middle class. That’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact.”
The former vice president drew a smattering of applause when he contended non-compete agreements are intended to “suppress wages.”
Two minutes into his remarks, he said he wouldn’t take anymore of the unionists time, and closed, “I have a record, I think if you take a look at it, I don’t think anybody running has been more supportive of labor than I’ve been my whole career.
“There’s an old expression back where I come from: You’re all the ones who brung me to the dance,” as a lone person burst into laughter.
“That’s how I got elected,” Biden continued, “organized labor, that’s not a joke. And then the slogan back home: Labor votes for Biden and Biden votes for Labor, and folks, I promise you, if I end up being your nominee and win this election, you will never have a better friend in the White House than Joe Biden for unions.”
He concluded, “I know how to say the word. Folks, we’re coming back. Labor’s coming back. Things are coming back. Keep the faith and don’t forget: You built the middle class. Period. Period. End of sentence. Thank you.”
Other pictures show how small the crowd was:
Biden, in Iowa City, tells this Labor Day picnic crowd that people who aren’t in unions are realizing they’re being taken advantage of. “All of the sudden they’re figuring out that they’re in trouble.”
“Labor’s coming back, unions are coming back.” pic.twitter.com/Tiijpgcm03
— Molly Hensley-Clancy (@mollyhc) September 2, 2019
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) September 2, 2019
Biden attended another union picnic in Cedar Rapids.