Democrats Praise Bailouts, Ignore Unions on Opening Night
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TheStreet) -- While Democrats crowed about Barack Obama's rescue of the auto industry on Tuesday night, union labor rhetoric was largely absent.
Labor unions, which donated some $8.5 million in 2008, were reported to have shorted the Democratic National Convention this year after a slew of snubs from the president.
Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), provided the major break in silence as she called out Mitt Romney for having a different set of values when it came to labor.
"When Mitt was starting out in business, he invested in the companies that were pioneers in outsourcing. He loaded up companies with debt, and, when they went bankrupt, he walked away with profits," said Henry.
Current Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Deval said he has done more during his tenure to reform the state's pension and benefits systems, schools and transportation -- issues, he said, Romney only talked about.
A glance at the scripts of the speeches Democrats delivered on Tuesday night, the word "labor" was only mentioned twice. "Laborer" was said once. Keynote speaker and San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julián Castro used the phrase "fruits of their labor" once. Rep. Jared Polis (D., Colo.) was the only speaker to use the word "union" in reference to "a more perfect union," from the preamble of the United States Constitution.
Virtually every major speech, though, took a moment to support the president's decision to bailout the auto industry and slam Romney for the now-infamous New York Times headline that declared he would "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
Though the headline isn't completely accurate -- Romney suggested for the government to provide guarantees to any lender that chose to provide debtor-in-possession financing to General Motors(GM) and Chrysler -- it has been politically successful as swaths of Midwestern voters and middle-class, blue collar Americans have cheered the industry's turnaround.
The government injected some $62 billion into GM and Chrysler. Opponents and Romney have suggested that private debtor-in-possession loans would have been the better route.