Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday accused President Donald Trump of betraying the working people who put him in office and challenged him to deny federal contracts to General Motors until the company reopens shuttered plants.
“The biggest lie was that he was going to stand up for working families and take on the establishment,” the Democratic presidential contender told a Pittsburgh rally in his first visit of 2019 to the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania. “That was a monstrous lie.”
Earlier in Lordstown, Ohio, and again in Pittsburgh, Sanders pressed Trump to put action behind his words on GM plant closings. Trump has assailed the company for shutting its small-car factory in Lordstown, in a politically important state, complaining about the company’s leadership and a local union leader while seldom mentioning the other U.S. factories that GM plans to close.
That’s not enough, Sanders said.
His message to GM and other multinationals: “If you want a federal contract paid for by taxpayers, treat your workers with respect and dignity. No more paying your workers inadequate wages while you provide CEO’s with multimillion-dollar parachutes, no more taking away health care benefits, no more denying workers the right to form a union.
“And if you are not a good and responsible corporate citizen, do not think that you will get federal contracts.”
Several union organizers spoke before Sanders at the Pittsburgh rally, part of Sanders’ four-day, five-state swing through states that are part of the Democratic strategy to rebuild the “blue wall” in 2020. Sanders attracted an estimated 4,500 on the warm, breezy late afternoon to a grassy plaza near the campuses of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.