BY WESLEY P. HESTER
The day after a high-dollar fundraiser in Virginia and a few days ahead of a rally in Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University, President Barack Obama took aim this morning at right-to-work laws, like Virginia’s.
“I believe when folks try and take collective bargaining rights away by passing so-called right to work laws that might also be called right to work for less laws, that’s not about economics, that’s about politics. That’s about politics,” Obama said in a speech to labor leaders in D.C.
Virginia is among 23 states with right-to-work laws, which provide that employees are not required to join a union or pay dues as a condition of getting or retaining a job.
The presidents remarks seem to put him at odds with Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Timothy M. Kaine, a former governor and Democratic National Committee chairman who has consistently supported the state’s right-to-work law and attended the event.
“I want to thank my good friend, Tim Kaine, who is here and is a friend of labor,” Obama said.
Republicans were quick to leap on the remarks, made to members of the Building and Construction Trade Department, an AFL-CIO-affiliated group.
Tucker Martin, a spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell, tweeted: “Wow. POTUS fails Va Politics 101: Don’t attack Right to Work Law. Tough spot for Kaine.”
Virginia’s two Democratic U.S. Senators also support the state’s right-to-work law.