October 11, 2016
WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. -- The office of Western New York Congressman Chris Collins was picketed Tuesday by union members like Ann Converso, who says Donald Trump lost her vote well before the Access Hollywood clip was released Friday.
"I am not a supporter of John McCain, but, that man was tortured and you would talk about him like he is a loser because he was captured? That was beyond for me," said Converso, a North Collins resident.
Collins was the first member of Congress to publicly endorse Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, and its that support members of the Western New York Area Labor Federation want him to withdraw.
"He has a mean streak in him, he's a bigot of all kinds, he obviously has a strong misogynist streak," said Richard Lipsitz, WNYALF president.
"Can't defend it. It was certainly conversation that made all of us sit back a little bit and say, 'Whoa.' But those are words, and contrast that to the Democrats' actions, Bill Clinton's actions," said Rep. Collins, 27th District.
Collins said he had no plans to withdraw support for Trump, and questioned what a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean for union workers.
"I would say to the union people, 'where did your jobs go? How's NAFTA?' It's Hillary Clinton's plan. Trans-Pacific Partnership; we'll lose more of our jobs," Collins said.
The WNYALF endorsed Collins' Democratic opponent, Diana Kastenbaum. With speculation about the greater impact Trump backlash could have on down-ballot races, Converso, for one, says Collins' television appearances supporting Trump will play a role in the first ballot she casts as a resident of the 27th District.
"There's a lot of other issues I would've talked to him about and questioned him about, but to me, there's no talking past this."
Collins says he's not worried about the effect Trump's unpopularity among some could have on his re-election bid.