Marco Rubio was on fire during Thursday’s GOP Debate, although this time he wasn’t the one getting burned. Republican front-runner Donald Trump was the candidate dancing in the frying pan as Rubio hit him with some blistering attacks. One such attack involved Trump’s role in a lawsuit involving illegal Polish labor.
After the debate, Rubio debuted his new attack strategy labeling the billionaire front-runner a “con artist.”
‘We’re on the verge of having someone take over the conservative movement and the Republican Party who is a con artist.’ Rubio warned.
‘He’s out there telling people he’s fighting. His target audience is working Americans who are really struggling in this economy, but he has spent a career sticking it to working Americans, and that’s what we pointed out last night.’ he continued.
Rubio conceded that he’s the underdog in the race, but he still pleaded with Republican voters to vote for him. He also begged Republicans to open up their wallets and donate to his campaign to stop the “lunacy” of Trumps campaign.
When asked if his new attack strategy was just too little too late, Rubio replied:
“I don’t believe that. I think it’s important for people to understand they have a choice to make. Look, if this pattern continues, the conservative movement in the Republican Party will be taken over by a con artist portraying himself as the fighter of the ordinary person fighting for the working man — but he’s spent years sticking it to the working people,” he said.
Rubio’s “con artist” strategy is centered around an attack during the debate in which he challenged the viewers to “google Polish workers.”
“He hired from Poland, and he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment,” Rubio said. “That’s a fact. People can look it up. I’m sure people are Googling it right now, ‘Trump Polish workers.’ You’ll see $1 million for hiring illegal workers on one of his projects. He did.”
“Wrong, wrong,” Trump said.
Here’s the YouTube video.
Well, Politifact decided to take up Rubio’s challenge here’s what they found.
Between 1979 and 1980 Trump hired a contractor to tear down a building in midtown Manhattan so he could build Trump Tower. The contractor brought in Polish workers who were part of a local union. However, to meet Trump’s strict deadline, the contractor also hired 200 undocumented Polish workers who came to be known as the “Polish Brigade.”
The Polish workers were paid under-the-table, they worked 12-hour shifts every day of the week, and made between $4 and $5 an hour. The workers did not get overtime, and some were never even paid what they earned.
In 1983, union members representing the union’s Polish workers took Trump, his contractor, and a union boss to court. The Union members claimed that they were swindled out of pension and welfare funds because the defendants used the undocumented workers.
Trump appeared in court in 1990 and blamed the illegal practices on the contractor. He denied having any knowledge that the Polish workers were not documented citizen workers.
“Nobody’s proven to me that they were were illegal,” Trump said, according to a Newsday report from the time.
However, a year later, Manhattan Judge Charles Steward did not rule in Trump’s favor. The judge said that Trump’s contractor “knew that the Polish workers were doing demolition work,” and that Trump’s company participated in a “conspiracy” to cheat the labor union.
The Judge ordered Trump to pay over $325,000 plus interest and the union attorney’s fees and cost.
Trump chose not to let the matter rest; he appealed the ruling, and the case dragged on for years.
In 1998, a few of the members of the Polish Brigade told their story to the New York Times. In the article, the workers detailed their horrible working conditions. According to the Times, Trump dug in his heels and refused to settle out of court based “on principle.”
The Times reported that if the case was retried, Trump stood to lose about $4 million if the court ruled against him again.
According to the New York Daily News, in 1999, Trump quietly gave in and settled with the workers in a sealed agreement.
“It has been resolved on terms agreeable to both sides,” labor lawyer Wendy Sloan, who represented the union members, told the New York Daily News.
Politifact ruled that Rubio’s statement was only “half-true” because it lacked context and it was Trump’s contractor who hired the undocumented immigrant labor, not Trump directly.
But it may not make any difference what Rubio says at this point. Many of Trump’s supporters are die-hard white supremacists who vow to support their candidate no matter what. Here’s disturbing YouTube video from one of Trump’s many supporters about this issue.
Featured image Screengrab from YouTube