Clinton, Obama and Biden Buddy Suddenly Dies

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Clinton, Obama and Biden Buddy Suddenly Dies

A union leader and close friend of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden has died suddenly at the age of 72.

Richard Trumka, the president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), died on August 5th from an apparent heart attack.

“The labor movement, the AFL-CIO, and the nation lost a legend today. Rich Trumka devoted his life to working people, from his early days as president of the United Mine Workers of America to his unparalleled leadership as the voice of America’s labor movement,” the AFL-CIO said in a tweet.

“Today, the 56 unions and 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO mourn the passing of our fearless leader and commit to honoring his legacy with action… Standing on Rich’s shoulders, we will pour everything we have into building an economy, society and democracy that lifts up every working family and community,” the organization added in subsequent tweets.

The AFL-CIO represents more than 12.5 million workers.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Trumka’s death to the Senate.

“The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him the most,” Schumer said. “Just yesterday, Rich was lending his support to the striking miners in Alabama.”

“He had in his veins, in every atom of his body, the heart, the thoughts, the needs of the working people of America. He was them. Rich Trumka was the working people of America. He never had any airs,” he added.

Relationship With Hillary Clinton

Trumka endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, stating:

“Hillary Clinton is a proven leader who shares our values. Throughout the campaign, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to the issues that matter to working people, and our members have taken notice. The activism of working people has already been a major force in this election and is now poised to elect Hillary Clinton and move America forward…

We are ready to fight hard to restore faith in America and improve the lives of all working people. Hillary Clinton has proven herself as a champion of the labor movement and we will be the driving force to elect her President of the United States.”

Clinton expressed her condolences in a post on Twitter.

“What a loss. Whether you knew Richard Trumka or not, you likely benefited from his decades of leadership and labor organizing. Sending my deepest condolences to his family,” she wrote.

Connections to Obama

Trumka was also instrumental in helping former President Barack Obama gain more votes among the white working class in 2012.

“We’re absolutely going to do good work on the ground, mobilizing workers. We will have 400,000 volunteers this cycle,” he said.

“We’ll be involved in 32 battleground states, up and down the ballot from Barack Obama, the House races, the Senate races, the statehouse, and senate races,” Trumka added.

““Will we get every one of them? No. But will we make a difference in our areas? Yes, we will. Voting for their own economic interests generally trumps any kind of clichés, hidden agendas or anything else. They vote in their own economic interest,” he continued.

Obama celebrated Trumka’s achievements and mourned his death in a post on Twitter.

“From the coal mines of Pennsylvania to the halls of Congress, Rich Trumka was a fierce advocate for working Americans. He loved this country, and he never missed an opportunity to remind us what we can be. Thinking of his family, friends, and federation on this difficult day,” the former president wrote.

Joe Biden

Trumka has also been working closely with the Biden administration over the last few months.

Joe Biden‘s Twitter account shared condolences over the union leader’s death soon after the news was announced, noting that Trumka was “a dear friend” of Biden’s.

“Rich Trumka was a dear friend, a great American, and a good man. I will miss him as will the countless workers whose lives he made better and the labor movement he led with daring vision. As I told his family after we heard the news, Jill and I send our love — today and always,” the tweet read.

Working Across the Aisle

Surprisingly, Trumka also reached across the aisle during Donald Trump’s presidency, working with him to craft the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), and eventually endorsing the agreement as a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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