WASHINGTON, DC—Edward Wytkind, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) president, issued this statement in response to the anticipated keynote address by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Republican National Convention in Tampa:
“At tonight’s Republican National Convention, presidential candidate Mitt Romney will, I’m sure, be introduced by Gov. Chris Christie as a leader who can fix the economy and create jobs. We’ll hear many promises about Romney and Ryan creating 12 million jobs in four years.
“While everyone will be focusing on what Gov. Christie says about Romney in his keynote address, what’s more important is what is left unsaid. I guarantee we will hear little about Christie’s play book on job growth. Why? Because he has been a transportation job-cutting machine.
“When you hear the ‘We Built It’ theme coming from Tampa tonight, you must know that they can’t be talking about the Romney/Ryan or Christie visions for America.
“In fact, what you can be sure of is they will not build it.
“In 2010 Gov. Christie killed the largest infrastructure project in America – the train tunnel under the Hudson River – that would have put 51,000 people to work in his state, reduced gridlock and transformed the Northeast Corridor, one of the nation’s most important economic regions and transportation corridors. In fact, Christie and his fellow governors (Scott Walker of WI, John Kasich of OH and Rick Scott of FL) rejected strategically significant federal infrastructure investments in their states at the expense of 129,000 private and public sector jobs.
“Unfortunately, the Romney/Ryan team is quietly following in Chris Christie’s footsteps. You won’t hear about it tonight – or at any point in the next three days – but the Republican ticket has endorsed the worst transportation investment budget in history, vowing cuts of 46 percent. This disastrous plan would cost at least half a million Americans their jobs per year and would render this the first generation that leaves the next generation a worse transportation system than the one it inherited.
“You won’t hear from Christie or anyone else that Romney/Ryan have embraced a vision that will ruin America’s transit and rail systems, airports and air traffic control system, roads and bridges, and ports and maritime navigation channels, all of which are in need of billions in new investments, not irresponsible austerity plans. You won’t hear how these cuts will harm our economy, threaten safety, slash jobs and undermine our competitiveness.
“America’s transportation workers aren’t buying what Gov. Christie is selling tonight and neither will most Americans who know you can’t cut your way to a safe and modern transportation system and a thriving middle-class.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, motor carrier, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org or on Facebook and Twitter.