United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain on Tuesday fired back at former President Trump after he called the union leader a “dope” for endorsing President Biden.
Fain doubled down on his support for Biden and drew a stark contrast between Biden’s and Trump’s track records on supporting unions and the working class when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about Trump’s latest comments.
“It’s a perfect contrast between the two candidates,” Fain said. “I mean, you have, for the first time in history, a sitting U.S. president joining working-class people, joining the workers on the picket line, standing up with them. And you had Donald Trump, who claims he supports the workers, who calls one of his business owner buddies in a non-union factory, and he goes to this non-union factory and has a rally claiming that he’s there for the union workers and the striking workers.”
“It’s what Trump does best. It’s a rope-a-dope,” Fain continued. “He wants you to look over here while over here, he’s taking everything away. I mean, it’s the divide-and-conquer tactic, and that’s what’s worked for the billionaire class and the corporate class forever.”
Fain endorsed Biden’s reelection campaign last week in a boost for his White House bid. While the UAW endorsed Biden in 2020, the group held back on initially backing his reelection bid, citing concerns over the administration’s electric vehicle (EV) push.
Trump, meanwhile, has sought to garner support among blue-collar workers as he turns attention toward a likely rematch with Biden in the fall. In September, Trump skipped a GOP primary debate to address auto workers in Michigan, a key battleground state.
After Fain endorsed Biden and rebuked Trump last week, the former president attacked the union chief on social media, issuing a call to “Get rid of this dope.”
Fain in his MSNBC appearance Tuesday ratcheted up his criticism of Trump as someone who represents the “billionaire class,” laying into tax reform passed under Trump in 2017 and arguing it included “minuscule benefits” for “working class people.” He also accused Trump of pushing cuts to social welfare programs.
“Labor is going to lead this fight, and we’re in it,” Fain said. “Our members have to look at the reality. We have to look at facts. That’s why our contract campaign was so successful because we put the facts out there of the gross inequality between the companies and the workers, and it’s the same situation in our politics.
“There is gross inequality with the few at the top, and everyone else at the bottom. We have to look at facts, not fiction, not alternative facts or lies, as Trump likes to talk about, real facts. And the facts are very clear.”