After a Wednesday meeting with leaders of the Teamsters union, former President Trump said “stranger things have happened” as he looks to gain the group’s endorsement.
“Over the years I’ve employed thousands and thousands of Teamsters and they’ve done a great job, especially in New York, where we have a lot of unions. I’ve had great relationships with the unions. We’re with Sean O’Brien, as you know, and Fred Zuckerman and they’re terrific people, great leaders actually,” Trump said, addressing the media after the meeting.
“And I think we had a very productive meeting. Stranger things have happened,” he continued.
Trump’s meeting with union leaders is another indication that he looks to move organized labor support away from President Biden, who secured the endorsement of the United Auto Workers (UAW) last week.
“Usually, a Republican wouldn’t get that endorsement,” Trump said of the Teamsters’ potential support. “For many, many years they only do Democrats but in my case, it’s different because I’ve employed thousands of Teamsters.”
Trump added that he isn’t sure if the “top people” in the union will support him, but “within the union itself” he has “tremendous support.”
In the press conference after the Teamsters meeting, Trump again slammed the auto union, saying he thinks they “made a terrible decision” with electric vehicles that are “all going to be made in China.”
For Trump, who is the front-runner in the GOP primary and on track for a rematch against Biden in the general election this fall, the meeting may have been a symbolic jab at the current president, who refers to himself as the most pro-union president in history.
“I’ve dealt with unions for my whole life. I’ve had great relationships with unions and do it both ways, frankly,” Trump said, adding that through his business empire he has worked with both unionized and non-unionized companies.