If the recent polls taught us anything, it’s that Hillary Clinton has a problem with blue collar, middle class workers. At the moment, among white, working class voters without a college degree she’s losing to Donald Trump by more than 40 points. That’s not the entire electorate by a long shot, but you can’t run a campaign for long looking at those sorts of numbers. So what will she say on Thursday night to try to win over that segment of the nation? Her job on that front became tougher because a new series of advertisements has cropped up which highlight her position on job outsourcing from the good old days.
Over at Circa, they have the video of comments which Clinton delivered at a forum in New Delhi, India in 2005. Keep in mind… this wasn’t some long lost footage from her misspent youth or her time as First Lady when she might claim to simply be supporting her husband’s policies. Bill was long since out of office and Hillary was in the Senate. So how did she answer the question of whether or not the United States government should step in and curb the outsourcing of jobs to India and southeast Asia? Click through for the video, but here are the pertinent remarks.
“No, I don’t think you can effectively restrict outsourcing. I think that there are incentives that perhaps are appropriate to try to persuade American companies without any sanctions, but you know, through both moral persuasion and then perhaps some economic incentives too at least think very hard before those decisions are made, but you know, it’s an inevitability,” she said.
“There is no way to legislate against reality, so I think that the outsourcing will continue. I just fault my own government for not doing more to open up new areas where America would have a competitive, comparative advantage and to do more on the education front, to do more with new technologies that we could be developing for our own use as well as for export, but I don’t think there’s any way to, you know, legislate against outsourcing. I think that’s, you know, just a dead end.”
Clinton already has plenty of trouble with the unions as it is. Sure, she gathered in almost all of their endorsements because they are, after all, the largest Super PACs that the Democrats have. But her support among the rank and file members has been tepid at best. Her support of free trade deals has been under constant fire… a cause taken up loudly and proudly by the supporters of Bernie Sanders. Down here in Philadelphia I’ve seen multiple protesters carrying signs calling for the Pacific trade deal to be dumped. The unions don’t care for the deal either, so these subjects are all of a piece when it comes to the general election audience.
That doesn’t mean that the unions (or even a huge number of Sanders supporters) are suddenly going to flock to Donald Trump. But at the same time, a lethargic base can easily translate into low turnout. And as close as this race is currently looking, that’s something that Hillary Clinton absolutely can not afford. I’ll be curious to see if and how she handles the subject on Thursday night. My guess is we won’t hear a peep about it.