WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The AFL-CIO Thursday threw its weight behind Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"John Kerry will lead us in our fight to make creating good jobs America's number one priority," said John Sweeney, president of the union in a statement.
The AFL-CIO consists of 64 different unions representing more than 13 million U.S. workers. The organization was believed to have been initially sympathetic to Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., but his campaign failed to take off and he dropped out of the race after the Jan. 19 Iowa caucuses.
Kerry has increasingly listed U.S. job losses to overseas competition and the need to redirect resources to revitalize the domestic economy as being among his top campaign priorities.
Kerry responded to the AFL-CIO endorsement by pledging, "I have a real plan to rebuild the economy beginning with a repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and the tax loopholes and benefits that reward Benedict Arnold CEOs and companies for shipping American jobs overseas."