I wish he would follow through.
(CBS News) — Back in 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama said that if he were president, he’d be walking the picket lines in solidarity with workers if unions were ever threatened. Now, the president has that chance in Wisconsin, but the White House says President Obama has no such plans.
Massive demonstrations have gone on for days in Wisconsin, as public workers and their supporters protest Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill,” which would scale back public workers’ benefits, as well as their collective bargaining rights.
Public workers and their supporters argue that eliminating most public unions’ collective bargaining rights has nothing to do with the budget and that the governor should drop that element of his plan. Walker isn’t budging, however — meaning that the ongoing debate has more to do with ideology than the state budget.
On the campaign trail in 2007, Mr. Obama had this to say: “If American workers are being denied their right to organize when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States.”
CBS News chief White House correspondent Chip Reid asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about that promise today, to which Carney responded that the president has already made his position on the matter clear.
“I think that the president has different means of speaking out on issues and being heard,” he said. “And, clearly, he did. He made his viewpoints known on the situation in Wisconsin, the need for people to come together.”
UPDATE: Here’s the vid: