Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2019

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Sherrod Brown promises to be most pro-union candidate in 2020, says Trump ‘betrays workers’

Sherrod Brown

Richard Brian / Special to the Sun

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks at the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas on Feb. 23, 2019.

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown pushed his progressive track record in a pair of Las Vegas stops on Saturday, touting his votes against the Defense of Marriage Act and his pro-union bonafides. Those stances he said helped him get a date with his wife, columnist and academic Connie Schultz.

Schultz looked at his voting record before she would go out with him. “I highly recommend that as a way to date,” she said.

Brown, who has not formally declared his candidacy for president, but has been increasingly high-profile in recent months, appealed to his roots as a union-supporting, traditionally left politician in visits to the Culinary Workers Union and Lovelady Brewing Company.

Brown is a D.C. institution, having served in the House from 1993-2007 and in the Senate starting in 2007.

Sherrod Brown's 'Dignity of Work' Tour

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks during his Launch slideshow »

In a race that has raised the question of how far to the left a winning candidate must go, Brown has positioned himself further toward the center than already-declared candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. He has, though, adopted the increasingly common practice of not accepting corporate PAC money.

He has said, repeatedly, that he does not support Medicare For All, a concept popularized recently by the left wing of the Democratic Party, stressing it may be too much too quickly to pass. He said he does support lowering the age of Medicare enrollment to 50 from the current 65, creating a public option and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

“I understand the appeal of Medicare for All but I want to get something done that will help people now,” he said.

He pushed back on the Trump Administration policy of family separations, saying that no parents are carrying their kids over thousands of miles to “game the system” in America.

“I don’t know if Trump doesn’t understand that or just doesn’t care,” he said. “I think he probably just doesn’t care.”

Brown pushed union issues strongly in his stops, saying he would be the most pro-union candidate in the race if he declares his candidacy. He also pushed the adoption of the Employee Free Choice Act, an often-proposed act that would make it easier for unions to operate. In one of Brown’s pushbacks on Trump, he charged the President doesn’t care about the working class.

“He betrays workers. He betrays them every day,” he said.

Brown said he’s still uncertain if he’ll run in 2020, saying the decision is a personal one due to the possible impacts on his family. He said he would come to a decision in around a month.