Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton participated in a forum hosted by the Alliance for American Manufacturing. They spoke to nearly a thousand union members from the region about their visions for American industry. They say they both support investment in "green" industry, tax credits for companies on American soil, and a crackdown on trade with China. Sen. Obama stressed his history of public service, working with unemployed steelworkers in Chicago in the mid-1980s. Sen. Clinton emphasized her policy planning for her potential administration.
The candidates were not on stage at the same time, but each brought up Sen. Obama's comments from the weekend concerning "bitter" Pennsylvanians. Obama says it was a poor choice of words, but says he is more "in touch" with the small-town working class than either Clinton or Republican candidate Sen. John McCain. Obama was met with cheers from the crowd. When Clinton expressed her disappointment in the comments, she was booed.
One steelworker says Sen. Obama's speech may have swayed him to switch camps. Another activist says she prefers Sen. Clinton, but wouldn't be upset if Obama won. Pennsylvania's primary election is next Tuesday.