PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Vice President Joe Biden returned to Pittsburgh, joined by Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, to speak at the Labor Day parade downtown Monday morning.
Kaine took the stage first around 9 a.m. at Liberty Avenue and 11th Street.
Kaine emphasized the importance of small business owners to the economy, mentioning that both he and Hillary Clinton grew up with small family businesses.
“This stuff about growing an economy that works for everybody? We haven’t been sitting in an ivory tower looking out at the world. We’ve not ever been sitting in penthouses looking out at the world,” Kaine said. “What we’ve been doing is coming up in small business families. Small business is the backbone of the American economy. Two-thirds of new jobs are created by small businesses. And we grew to appreciate the power of workers, and we grew to appreciate the power of small businesses as our backbone.”
Kaine also pitched the importance of labor unions for non-union workers, too.
“Last week, a study confirmed what we know all along. When fewer workers are in unions, wages are lower. When more workers are in unions, wages are higher,” he said.
Biden introduced himself when he took the stage by saying, “My name is Joe Biden, and I work for Hillary Clinton.”
The Vice President discussed the importance of unions for both unionized and non-unionized workers and criticized the use of the term “organized labor” in place of “unions.”
“[Unions] have literally, not figuratively, built this country,” Biden said. “The sacrifices unions have made, all the dues you’ve paid, all the picket lines you’ve marched in, all of that has benefited not only you, it’s benefited every American worker.”
He also launched a full-scale attack on the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, assailing the candidate’s failure to pay sub-contractors.
“Look at the man’s behavior, personal behavior,” said Biden. “He really does believe that workers make too much. He really does believe the problem is America’s workers are lazy.”
And Biden exhorted working people to remember this on Election Day:
“I am more optimistic today about the prospects of America than I ever have been in my whole career,” he said. “It’s time we get out of our own way, and get Trump out of the way, and elect this guy [Tim Kaine] and Hillary Clinton president and vice president of the United States of America.”
Several other politicians were in attendance at the parade, including Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty, as well as Republicans U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy and state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler.
Both men who want to be the state’s next Attorney General, Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican John Rafferty, also attended the parade.
The Labor Day parade kicked off at 10 a.m. near Liberty Avenue and 11th Street.