Saturday, September 20, 2008

McCain and Workers

In a speech in Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday, September 15, Repub presidential nominee John McCain exclaimed

You know that there's been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall St. And it is -- people are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think still -- the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times.

Recognizing that what he said was a major gaffe and, well, ludicrous, McCain that afternoon rationalized his comment, remarking

My opponents may disagree, but those fundamentals of America are strong. No one can match an American worker. Our workers sell more goods to more markets than any other on earth. Our workers have always been the strength of our economy, and they remain the strength of our economy today.

As Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly noted "most policy makers would look at "fundamentals" like economic growth, wages, unemployment, inflation, trade imbalance, value of the dollar, budget deficit, interest rates, etc." And if McCain even respects American workers, somewhere along the line he got religion. Who can forget this memorable exchange (video here) in a speech to the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department on April 6, 2006?

John McCain: "I don't think I need to tell you that there are jobs that Americans will not do. I don't think I have to tell you that there are ... the backbone of our economy...

Audience members: "Pay them the right wages."

John McCain: "You know I've heard that statement before. Now, my friends, I'll offer anybody here fifty dollars an hour if you'll go pick lettuce in Yuma this season and pick for the whole season. So, ok, sign up! Ok, when you sign up, you sign up, and you'll be there for the whole season, the whole season, ok, not just one day. Because you can't do it, my friend."

Yep, John McCain- he hated American workers before he didn't.

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