At AFL-CIO Forum, Richardson details record on and plans for exiting Iraq, creating quality jobs and a fair economy, and universal healthcare
CHICAGO, IL -- Governor Bill Richardson demonstrated why he is the best candidate for working men and women with a strong showing today at the AFL-CIO Presidential Forum in Chicago.
"America should never have a trade agreement unless it protects labor," Governor Bill Richardson said. "What we need to do from now on is say, no child labor, no slave labor. We need to make sure there is freedom of association, collective bargaining, and we need to make sure that wage disparity doesn't exist."
Governor Richardson has long been a proud supporter of organized labor. In New Mexico, one of his first acts as Governor was to reinstate collective bargaining for public employees. He made the state's prevailing wage a union wage, secured the first public works labor agreement in New Mexico history, and presided over an economy that has created nearly 90,000 new jobs.
"As President I will get rid of all of the union-busting attorneys in the Department of Labor and at the Occupational Health and Safety Administration."
When the candidates were asked about how they would handle the threat of al-Qaeda, the Governor responded with the strongest answer.
"I will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the security of the United States. We can get the three groups together. We can have an all-Muslim peacekeeping force. Then we can focus on what really affects American policy - fighting international terrorism, reducing greenhouse gases, a measure to ensure that there are no dirty bombs and fission devices around the world."
When answering a question from an Iraq veteran, who upon arriving home found himself out of a job, Governor Richardson responded, "I would protect their pensions. I would protect their health care. As an Iraq veteran, when you come home, I will have guarantees to protect our veterans, support VA hospitals. Something else I will do for all of our veterans is guarantee health care, with a Heroes' Health Care Card that will allow our veterans to get care outside of the VA system."
Throughout the forum Governor Richardson showed why he is the best candidate to jumpstart the economy and create quality jobs for American workers. As President, Governor Richardson's Secretary of Labor will be a union member. He will protect the right to collective bargaining and support the Employee Free Choice Act.
"I believe I have the most experience in foreign policy," Governor Richardson said. "I represent change, experience, and electability. I believe that I would have the ability to bring this country together, to implement universal health care, and to heal the divisions of the Iraq war."
Earlier in the day Governor Richardson outlined his bold plan to deliver choices of health coverage to every American, without raising taxes, at a speech in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
To view Governor Richardson's health care plan, please go to: www.richardsonforpresident.com/issues/healthcare