White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre got frustrated Monday when peppered with questions about President Biden’s decision to join the striking United Auto Workers on the picket line Tuesday and whether this signals that the president is siding against the Big Three car manufacturers.
The decision for Biden to stand with the UAW members came after Donald Trump announced last week that he would travel to Detroit and deliver a speech on the night of the second GOP presidential debate, which the former president is refusing to attend.
“Since President Biden will be making this trip, does this mean he supports the 40 percent pay increase, the 32-hour work week that workers are asking for?” a reporter asked.
“I’m not going to get into the details of what’s being negotiated right now on the table with — certainly with the parties,” Jean-Pierre replied.
Karine Jean-Pierre won’t say if Biden supports the striking UAW’s demands of a 40% pay increase and 32-hour work week pic.twitter.com/SheAWWAMrI
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 25, 2023
The president’s spokesperson proceeded to unwittingly confirm that the trip is little more than a photo op to pander for the union vote.
“What we’re saying is that we support the autoworkers. That’s what you’re going to see with the president tomorrow,” KJP said. “This is a historic event, a historic trip. And this continues to show how, indeed, this president is the most pro-union president in history and he stands by the side of workers. This is what you’re going to see tomorrow.”
Another reporter pressed on Biden supporting the autoworkers, “Does that mean that the president is siding with the autoworkers over the auto companies?”
“What we’re saying is we’re not going to get into the negotiation. Right? This is — when it comes to a negotiation, that is something for the parties to decide on. That is something for them to discuss,” Jean-Pierre said.
“It seems like by going to stand with workers at a picket line, the president is literally standing with them and the terms that they’re seeking in the contract dispute,” another reporter said in reference to the UAW seeking a 40 percent pay increase and a shorter work week.
“It seems like by going to stand with workers at a picket line, the president is literally standing with them in the terms that they’re seeking!” pic.twitter.com/I78uQzzwZo
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) September 26, 2023
“To be very clear, he is standing with them to make sure that they get a fair share,” Jean-Pierre replied. “That is what he’s standing with them on. He’s standing with them — and we’ve said this — that they get the record profits mean a record contract for UAW. That is why he’s going. That is what he’s standing for.”
Citing the collective bargaining process, Jean-Pierre said the two sides have to agree on “what a win-win agreement looks like.”
“But what we definitely agree on is that they deserve a fair share,” she added, speaking in support of auto workers. “They deserve a fair share of the value that they helped create. That’s what the president is saying.”
The reporter followed up by pointing out that standing on the picket line is choosing a side, suggesting that it’s a “confusing” position.
“I disagree. It is not confusing. What he is saying, and we’ve been very clear, he stands with union workers. He stands with the workers.,” she answered. “He has said, and they have said, he is the most pro-union president in history. And that is what he’s doing. He is going to stand in solidarity at the picket line with the workers.”
When yet another reporter broached the topic, a frustrated Jean-Pierre protested, “Oh my goodness. You’re going to ask the same question? I’m not going to change my answer.”
“It’s fine. I’m going to ask again,” the reporter said.
“Feel free. And I’m going to give you the same answer,” the press secretary countered.
The reporter pressed, “Is he picketing or is he visiting the picket line? Is he standing with them? Is he walking in the picket line? Does the White House see any political risk in doing this?”
“He’s going to join the picket line,” Jean-Pierre said — all the while trying to differentiate between “standing” with the autoworkers and being on their side in the negotiations.
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