WASHINGTON -- The head of one of the country's top labor organizations on Monday delivered a searing response to news that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) had dropped out of the 2016 GOP presidential race.
"Scott Walker is still a disgrace, just no longer national," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a one-line statement as news outlets began reporting Walker's exit from the campaign.
Trumka, a longtime critic of the anti-union governor, issued a similarly succinct statement in July, when Walker joined the presidential race: "Scott Walker is a national disgrace."
Walker has made a political career out of targeting labor unions. As governor, he famously authorized legislation that stripped most collective bargaining rights from public-sector workers, sparking protests from labor unions around the country. He dealt another blow to unions this year, when he signed a "right-to-work" law that makes it illegal for unions to require workers to join a union and pay dues even if they benefit from the union contract.
As a presidential candidate, Walker frequently alluded to his success fighting union power, which he cited as proof of his leadership abilities. He even used his experience cracking down on labor to claim he could fight the Islamic State if elected president.
Just this month, Walker's campaign proposed a set of sweeping restrictions on labor unions nationwide, modeled on his anti-labor laws in Wisconsin.
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