Democrats spar over labor issues at MSNBC debate

08/08/07 Mitch E. Perry
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The nation's largest labor federation will not immediately endorse any of the Democratic presidential candidates in next year's primary.

According to draft copies of a statement provided to the Associated Press, the AFL-CIO made the decision in part because union members say that all of the Democratic candidates "are impressive."

The decision means that the AFL-CIO's 55 unions are now free to endorse the candidate of their choice. Several unions already have made plans to endorse after Labor Day.

Many expected this decision following last night's presidential forum at Chicago's Soldier Field.

Jeff Cohen is the founder of the media watchdog group FAIR, and the author of the book, “Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.” He’s not surprised by the non-endorsement.

Last night in Chicago, seven of the eight candidates for the Democratic nomination for president clashed in a 90-minute debate televised live on MSNBC.

Described by some news organizations as the most animated of the forums held so far this year, it appears that the gloves may continue to stay off.

The debate ended with Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich seemingly winning the hearts of the audience with his full-fledged support for organized labor.

Although John Edwards was expected to receive the most love from a constituency he’s been working hard to win over, some media pundits claimed Dennis Kucinich won the most approval from the union audience.

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