Saturday, July 7, 2007

Sen. Hillary Clinton's refusal to answer steelworkers' questions both troubling and revealing

On July 5, 2007, the Democratic Presidential candidates addressed the United Steelworkers Union Candidate Forum. After agreeing to a 30 minute question-and-answer with union members, Hillary Clinton skipped out after making her address, leaving union members wondering what does she have to hide.

The following article is from the presidential campaign website of Dennis Kucinich

Sen. Hillary Clinton's refusal to answer steelworkers' questions both troubling and revealing

Friday, July 06, 2007

CLEVELAND OH -- The Kucinich for President Campaign issued the following statement this afternoon:

"It is deeply troubling, but, perhaps, very revealing, when a Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States seeks the support of one of the most important industrial labor unions in the nation but refuses to answer questions from the rank and file union members.

"That's what happened today when U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton addressed the United Steelworkers conference in Cleveland. Not only did she not participate in the question-and-answer portion of the program to which all of the Presidential candidates had agreed, but she also completely ignored one of the major issues that has forced millions of union workers and others into unemployment: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"Yesterday, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Senator Joe Biden, and former Senator John Edwards held to their commitment to the USW to answer any and all questions from union members for 30 minutes each.

"It borders on arrogance for a Democrat to deliver pro-union promises and platitudes in prepared remarks, but then refuse to engage in an honest and open conversation with workers whose lives have been profoundly impacted by disastrous trade policies -- especially NAFTA, which was enacted during the Clinton Administration.

"Does Senator Clinton support NAFTA? Will she attempt to "fix it," as former Senator Edwards proposed yesterday? Or will she have the courage to repeal it, as only Congressman Kucinich has proposed? Members of the steelworkers union and other industrialized unions did not get any answers because they weren't permitted to ask the questions.

"Candidates have an obligation to go beyond orchestrated and scripted performances, answer tough questions, and address serious issues. If they calculate that it is preferable to side-step that obligation when they are trying to win votes, voters will be left wondering where those candidates really stand and what they will really do if elected. If anything, Senator Clinton has an even higher obligation to address this issue because NAFTA was enacted during the Clinton Administration. Someone needs to ask where the Senator stands. And the Senator has a responsibility to answer."

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