The International Association of Fire Fighters endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president in a video released on Monday morning, becoming the first major labor group to officially support a presidential candidate in the 2020 campaign.
"While more than half say they'll definitely not support Trump, 42 percent of Americans overall, and 45 percent of registered voters, say they would at least consider him for a second term", the poll found.
Joe Biden's much-vaunted experience is in failing by his own "measure of success".
Biden held his first campaign rally in Pittsburgh Monday, and began by joking "My name is Joe Biden, and I am Jill Biden's husband". "We're tearing America apart instead of lifting it up".
The International Association of Fire Fighters announced its decision in a video message that described Biden as an advocate for the middle class.
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law 20th Anniversary Gala in Las Vegas, Dec. 1, 2018.
He stands behind us as a steelworker, and he's for the working class", Rose Faust told CBS News, "He stands with those of us who are in exactly in the middle.
He explained that Biden is the best candidate to defeat Trump in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, all narrowly won by Trump in 2016 over Hillary Clinton. "Workers feel powerless, too often humiliated", Biden said. "[The] $2 trillion tax cut", Biden continued, "did you feel it?" Among the policies Biden touted: a "public option" that would allow anyone to buy into Medicare; a $15-an-hour minimum wage; eliminating capital gains tax loopholes; and increasing funding for medical research and post-secondary job training.
Still, Mr. Biden struck a chord with the party's traditional union base.
"Donald Trump is the only president who's decided not to represent the whole country".
Pennsylvania will be a key battleground in the 2020 general election, and Biden is making an early play in the state.
In a series of tweets, Trump said that while leaders of the firefighters and other unions would endorse Democrats in the 2020 race, "the members love Trump". "Some things never change!" he added minutes later. Labor built the middle class in this country. "We need a President who honors them and their work".
Biden is seen as a rival to Trump who could occupy a similar space by appealing to white, working-class voters. Pennsylvania was one of three previously reliably Democratic industrial states that Trump captured in 2016.
Biden's first week on the campaign trail will also include a two-day swing through Iowa, with events planned for Tuesday in the eastern part of the state and Wednesday in central Iowa.