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Beto O’Rourke Swings and Misses with Working-Class Michigan Voters
O’Rourke’s tabletop tour can’t hide his problematic record on workers’ rights.
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Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke visited Michigan last week. Shirtsleeves carefully rolled up, he stood on tabletops across metro Detroit and delivered his stump speech.

“He’s really good at his stump speech,” says local union activist Diana Hussein, who seemed unimpressed. “If Trump is the Twitter president, Beto is the Pinterest candidate.”

Indeed, many of the rumblings from O’Rourke’s Michigan visit show voters skeptical of a presidential candidate who is on the cover of Vanity Fair, yet couldn’t beat Ted Cruz in his home state. These voters, largely working-class, aren’t the type to pick up Vanity Fair at their local Meijer store, and appear more interested in finding out whether a candidate will be a strong champion for policies that actually benefit working people.

When O’Rourke showed up at the Detroit Carpenters Apprenticeship School (a trade school in nearby Ferndale), many union workers didn’t know who he was, despite being told about his visit in advance. When he walked in, entourage in tow, the general response was, “Who’s that?”

“They didn’t recognize him,” says Steve McCool, a floor layer instructor at the trade school and member of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights Local 1045.

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