Teamsters President Accepts Trump's Invitation to Speak to Republican Convention

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

International Brotherhood of Teamsters President Sean O’Brien will speak at the Republican convention next month in Milwaukee. 

Former President Trump announced that O'Brien accepted his invitation to speak. 


This is the post on Truth Social from Trump:

Sean O’Brien, the General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, has accepted my invitation to speak at the RNC Convention in Milwaukee. Our GREAT convention will unify Americans and demonstrate to the nation’s working families they come first. When I am back in the White House, the hardworking Teamsters, and all working Americans, will once again have a country they can afford to live in and be respected around the world. Sean, I look forward to seeing you represent the Teamsters in Milwaukee. Together we can Make America Great Again.

To say that this appearance is a rare occurrence at a Republican convention is an understatement. Many Republicans will have their hair on fire about Trump's move here. What they miss about Trump is that he is all about unity. Yes, really. That may not ring true to many, but it's been his message since 2015 when he entered the presidential race. 

Trump calls on Republicans to unite. When he ran in 2015, I was a member of a PAC that considered asking him to do an event during the primary. The PAC had "United" in its name, which interested Trump and his campaign. That is just one anecdote but he knew then and now that his job was to unite the party in order to win the general election. 


Trump brings independent voters to his side, too. He won independent voters in 2016, lost them in 2020, and is on track to win them again in November. He has transformed the Republican Party into the party of middle-class voters and working-class Americans, many of whom are union members. To ignore that is to make a major mistake. Trump needs the votes of all of them. He knows that.

The truly unusual move was made by O'Brien. He asked to speak to the Republican convention and the Democrat convention. Asking to speak to Republicans is not something union bosses usually do. But, O'Brien stepped outside of the box and Trump extended the invitation.

The union confirmed the invitation and O'Brien's acceptance.

“This is truly unprecedented since it will be the very first time a Teamsters General President has addressed the RNC,” the spokesperson said. “Our 1.3 million members represent every political background, and their message needs to be heard by as wide an audience as possible, and that includes all political candidates running for elected office.”

O'Brien and other top Teamsters met with Trump in January. It angered anti-Trump union members but union members who support Trump were supportive. O'Brien has been in the union's top leadership position since 2022. He understands the importance of listening to those who don't vote for Democrats. “There’s always a threat to organized labor, so we want to be proactive and make certain every candidate — not just President Biden — understands how important our issues are.” 


O'Brien knows that Trump's policies will not be friendly to unions, as they were not in his first term in office. O'Brien is doing this because it is acknowledging Trump voters in the union membership. 

The Teamsters boss says if the union issues an endorsement, it will be later, after the conventions. The AFL-CIO has endorsed Biden. The United Auto Workers union has, too. 

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos