Trumka dismissed Obama's recent job creation proposals -- an extended payroll tax cut, patent reform, free trade deals -- as "nibbly things that aren't going to make a difference," and said the AFL-CIO might sit out the Democratic convention if he and the party don't get serious.
"If they don't have a jobs program I think we'd better use our money doing other things," Trumka said.
Trumka sits on Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, chaired by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt -- a panel Trumka's all but written off. "I don't know whether the commission's making a difference or not...it's a legitimate question whether that commission has done anything worthwhile," he said, illustrating his belief that the status quo has failed.
Asked how Obama fell off course, Trumka explained, "I think he made a strategic mistake when he confused job crisis with the deficit crisis a number of months ago -- when he would talk about job creation and then in the same sentence talk about deficit reduction and people got the two confused. And he helped with that."
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