By Thomas Catenacci –
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden falsely claimed Thursday that a trade union, which represents craftsmen and industrial workers, had “overwhelmingly” endorsed him.
Former Vice President Biden’s comments came during a discussion on fracking at an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Thursday evening. The union, Boilermakers Local 154, endorsed President Donald Trump citing the president’s energy policies, according to a Sept. 2. letter.
“The Boilermakers overwhelmingly endorse me, okay, so the Boilermakers Union has endorsed me because I sat down with them and went into great detail earlier to show their leadership exactly what I would do,” Biden said.
Biden’s claim came after ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos quoted Shawn Steffee, an executive board member of Local 154, who told the New York Times on Tuesday that Biden has “flip-flopped” on fracking.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want nothing to do with the fossil fuel industry,” Steffee said, according to The Times. “He’s flip-flopped so many times.”
Meanwhile, John Hughes, the head of Local 154, called Trump a “true friend of the Boilermakers” in the union’s endorsement letter. Hughes said Trump has convinced his members that he will protect the future of the U.S.
“As the United States continues to lead the world in oil and natural gas production it is imperative that we continue to battle over-regulations in the fossil fuel industries and fight for American energy production,” Hughes said.
He added: “It is with great honor that I write this letter to endorse your campaign as you run for re-election.”
Local 154 represents 2,500 active and retired tradesmen in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, Hughes said.
“I am not banning fracking,” Biden said. “Let me say that again: I am not banning fracking. No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers national headquarters has yet to endorse a candidate for president, according to The Annenberg Public Policy Center. The national union and Local 154 did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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