Presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney apparently stumbled this week when he led some to believe that, as a front-running Republican contender, he was anything less than exuberantly for the destruction of public sector unions.
The AP reports that Romney, campaigning in Ohio, “distanced” himself from Governor Kasich’s “efforts to restrict collective bargaining.” Later in the week he let it be known that he was “110%” for the idea.
His brief slip-up resulted in his GOP competitors leaping to portray him as lacking in true conservative credentials and a “waffler” or “flip-flopper”, as well. Both Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman were quick to condemn Romney’s middle-of-the-road comments.
Mitt may have been straddling the fence because a Quinnipiac University poll shows that the anti-union legislation has a 57% disapproval rating with voters, many of whom are likely to be male, white and working-class, a demographic the GOP can ill afford to piss off.
The GOP effort to destroy unions is aimed at gutting the simple principle that workers have the right to negotiate over the conditions of the workplace, a right regularly given to private sector workers. Removing the statutory right to negotiate is to do nothing more than to place workers on a par with indentured servants who toil without rights or a real say in the things that matter: pay and benefits.
Mitt has rejoined the GOP “union castration chorus” and it will be interesting to see if working Americans will really support a candidate happy to see them “back in the fields.”
Shakin it here, boss.