MSNBC host Ed Schultz exhorted Democrats to put aside their feelings toward Tea Party Republicans and team up with them in the name of stopping President Barack Obama from carrying out his plan for the U.S. to enter the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he has argued would amount to “NAFTA on steroids.”
“This isn’t about being against President Obama,” Schultz said on Friday. “This is about being for American workers. There is no way the Democrats can go around this country and claim that they are supporting the middle class and let this go untouched.”
The 12-nation agreement — which includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam — has already been criticized by public advocacy groups for having the potential to adversely affect laws affecting issues like international copyright law, workplace safety on top of labor markets. Obama’s administration has pushed for the matter to be “fast-tracked” thru Congress, which opponents say would enable it to escape more through examination.
Schultz also pointed out that the matter has not been opened up for public debate, with lawmakers sworn to secrecy about specific details, which was especially troubling to him after he found out that the TPP’s supporters include influential conservative figures like the Koch brothers.
“I find it very interesting how the Tea Party is so silent about the national sovereignty issue,” Schultz mused. “This might even qualify for a march. Where are all these radical right-wing talkers who claim that they’re for America? ‘Oh, this is free markets’? No.”
But, Schultz said, labor unions have gone public with their opposition to the alliance, a fact that should give Obama and the Democrats a reason to reconsider.
“Labor carried President Obama to two terms in the White House,” Schultz explained. “And I think you can make the case [that] if it weren’t for labor, President Obama might not even be in the White House.”
Watch Schultz make the case against the TPP, as aired Friday, below.