DENVER, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Racism has kept Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama from gaining a big lead over Republican John McCain, a prominent union leader said.
Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said many union workers have told him they cannot support Obama because he is black, The Hill reported Tuesday.
"There are some local union presidents that are afraid -- yes, that's the word, afraid -- to hand out literature for Barack Obama," McEntee said.
He said union members ought to consider Obama's voting record on labor issues, not his race.
"You can't vote for Barack Obama because he's black? That's bulls--t. Absolute bulls--t," McEntee said.
He added that Republican presidential hopeful John McCain is not a friend of organized labor. He said Obama needs the union's members to win in some battleground states.
"If we don't win those states -- excuse my language, I know it's early -- but we will be in the proverbial s--t house for the next four years," McEntee said.