CNN morning show co-host Poppy Harlow dropped a big-time fact check on network contributor and former Obama adviser Van Jones after the latter made a patently false claim about how President Joe Biden’s policies are helping the United Auto Workers.
The back-and-forth came on Tuesday, just a few days after UAW members walked off the job at plants belonging to the Big Three makers, Ford, GM, and Stellantis, which owns Dodge/Chrysler.
Union leadership has voiced concerns about how, over the long run, boosting production of electric vehicles will hurt workers, but at the same time, put out a statement against the GOP-passed “Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act,” which would “amend the Clean Air Act to prevent the elimination of the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles.” Union leaders, the vast majority of whom are generally shills for the Democratic Party, claimed that the UAW “opposes the bill because union workers are not political pawns for the culture war.”
During a segment of Tuesday’s show, the panel and Jones were discussing former President Donald Trump’s decision to skip the second GOP debate and instead give a speech in Detroit, with the CNN contributor arguing that President Joe Biden’s policies are much better for union members.
“It’s a big tug of war. Union Joe versus the blue-collar billionaire. There’s this demographic which for a long time was presumably blue. Blue-collar, blue voters,” Jones began.
“That was presumptive. Then in 2016, that blue wall cracked. It cracked because of Donald Trump’s appeal on NAFTA and that stuff. Suddenly it’s a jump ball. And this year is maybe the biggest labor upsurge in a generation, with 300,000-plus American workers on strike right now, from Hollywood workers to people on the front lines in the auto industry and labor matters. Unions matter, and they are a jump ball,” Jones continued.
“So you see Donald Trump reaching in there and trying to grab at the heartstrings of those workers. Now the reality is none of his policies are going to be great for those workers. Joe Biden has policies that would be fantastic for those workers…” Jones was saying.
That’s when Harlow attempted to break in.
“But –” she said.
“–right now it’s about the optics,” Jones added.
“But not all of them. I mean, this is– you brought this up with the acting labor secretary Julie Su that was so interesting and that is the issue of the Biden push for electric vehicles,” Harlow said. “This internal memo from May from the UAW reads ‘the federal government is pouring billions into the electric vehicle transition with no strings attached, no commitment to workers. We want to see national leadership have our back on this before we make any commitments.’
“And that is what Republican politicians are capitalizing on. Saying they’re putting the green economy ahead of you,” she said.
Writer Josh Barro then said that Trump has the “opportunity to capitalize” on concerns expressed by UAW workers regarding more federal dollars “going into building the infrastructure to support electric vehicles rather than into workers themselves as the green transition puts a ‘significant financial strain on the automakers and requiring large capital investments,'” the Daily Caller noted.