The first votes of the 2012 presidential election were cast last night in Iowa. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul topped the polls. None is a friend of working families.
Mitt Romney traveled to Ohio this fall in support of Senate Bill 5, which stripped firefighters, teachers, and other public employees of the right to collective bargaining. Shortly thereafter, Ohio voters overwhelmingly repealed this anti-worker law. He has criticized the NLRB as being “out of control” for protecting things like the right to strike and fair union elections. And he has endorsed the notion that corporations are citizens. Good news for Wal-Mart and other Republican contributors. Bad news for democracy.
Rick Santorum established one of the most extreme anti-worker records during his time in the U.S. Senate. He voted against increasing the minimum wage and farm price supports crucial to the job security of thousands of agricultural workers. He has vowed to repeal manufacturing regulations that keep workers safe, falsely blamed unions for bankrupting state governments, and supports giving even more tax breaks to big corporations.
Ron Paul believes the federal government should be limited in protecting the safety of workers, yet have a heavy hand when it comes to employer-employee bargaining. He voted against raising the minimum wage and extending collective bargaining rights to first responders. He has called unions “unconstitutional.”
Romney, Santorum, and Paul were the big winners last night, but working families would lose if any of them reached the White House. By comparison, President Obama has been a consistent champion of good jobs, fair benefits, and a secure retirement. When it comes to standing up for workers, the 2012 presidential contest is no contest at all. That’s why we’ve strongly endorsed the President’s reelection bid.