What brought Trump’s Labor nominee down?
Democrats opposed Puzder’s nomination for his strong anti-labor record. Up to four Republican Senators were also expected to vote against Puzder’s confirmation.
What was wrong with this candidate? RT America's Ed Shultz discussed with Matt Keelen, president of the Keelen Group, and David Burstein, Democratic strategist & contributor to Vanity Fair.
RT: David, why couldn’t he be confirmed?
David Burstein: Let’s talks about first what’s actually wrong with this guy, which is that 50 percent of his restaurants have violated US federal labor laws. The whole series of things that make him came unqualified with the Labor Department. But what was actually wrong, why did he get sunk, because there was a video of his wife talk about being beaten by him. And because it turned out he had not paid taxes and hired an illegal immigrant to work for him as a nanny. So ultimately, I think those things that did him in. It should have been the other things. The Democrats will take some solace in this. He is probably going to be replaced by someone who shares the same beliefs, though.
RT: Matt, it’s kind of hard to have a President who’s talking about illegal immigration and moving people out of the country, who don’t belong here, and then have somebody in the Cabinet that has an undocumented worker working for him, isn’t it?
Matt Keelen: I think what brought him down ultimately was the four Republicans that said that they weren’t going to vote for him. Part of it was his past. I do disagree with the guest on this administration’s outreach to labor, which I think so far has been pretty strong, and I do think we’ll see a very strong pick to replace him as a Secretary of Labor.
RT: Every union was against this guy. Some of them were in the Oval Office with the President and hearing some good things. But he was ready to put somebody in the Cabinet that nobody in organized labor wanted. What about that?
Matt Keelen: It is in a rearview mirror now. I do think the President has made a very clear that he continues to want to have strong relationships with leaders of organized labor, but more importantly with the men and women of the organized labor, which he did throughout the campaign. If you look at the new electoral map and those 300 electoral votes up in the Midwest, he clearly has an ability to communicate with those people.
RT: We all know the Democrats want to see Donald Trump fail. At the end of the day, it has to be professional reporting. We have the Senate Intel committee about to jump into an investigation based on reports that are unsubstantiated. What do you make of that?
DB: I think this is something we’ve almost accepted as a fact of American public life – really going back to the [George W] Bush administration. These leaks coming out of the intel community, and we’ve sort of just become accustomed to it. I have to say the President is right on this point – to bring up the idea that someone should be doing something about this. It is unlikely that anything is really going to be done because there is a very semantic relationship between the journalists who cover the intelligence community, who are deeply sourced and people in the intelligence community. And these people are very opinionated. They’ve got a President who’s at war with them. So they have every reason and/or desire to want and try to push back. And they have no other channel to do it, other than to talk to reporters.
RT: Matt, American people, don’t believe in the American media. But they continually go on air with unnamed sources. They want to know why the President is not answering questions. Why should he answer a question about something that is not sourced?
MK: … I agree with David that somebody needs to go to jail over all of these leaks. If we cannot have an intelligence community that we can trust to keep our secrets, what good is having an intelligence community?...The news media has got to get over it. So if it hasn’t figured out that Trump won the election, despite 95 percent negative coverage by the news media, the story is over.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.