Joe Biden. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The AFL-CIO is endorsing Joe Biden for president, the group's president Richard Trumka told the Washington Post Tuesday.

Why it matters: The AFL-CIO is the largest federation of labor unions in the country. The endorsement is not a surprise, but support from the powerful coalition could still prove crucial for Biden as he competes with Trump for the support of working-class voters in November.

The state of play: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told the Post the group will focus on attracting voters to Biden in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — critical swing states where Trump narrowly defeated Clinton in 2016 with a strong anti-free-trade message.

  • Trumka also said the group would target Minnesota, New Mexico, Florida and Arizona.
  • “Joe Biden has demonstrated his character,” Trumka said. “We look forward to helping him get elected president and changing the direction of the country.”

What they're saying: “In the face of COVID-19 we’re seeing without any doubt how important unions are to this country — fighting for their workers to have personal protective equipment, for paid leave, and for safer workplaces,” Biden wrote in a statement reacting to the endorsement.

  • “As we come out of this crisis, there is an incredible need and opportunity to create good-paying, union jobs across the country and ensure the United States owns the 21st Century.”

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Updated Jun 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Obama at Biden fundraiser: "I am here to say help is on the way"

Screenshot: Biden campaign virtual fundraiser

Former President Barack Obama said at a virtual fundraiser for Joe Biden Tuesday night that “help is on the way” and urged supporters not to be complacent in thinking their work is close to being finished: "Whatever you’ve done so far is not enough."

Why it matters: Organizers said it's the Biden campaign's largest fundraiser yet, bringing in $7.6 million from over 175,000 people. It's expected to be the first of several joint efforts with Biden in the months leading up to the election.

Scoop: Trump's smoke-him-out strategy

Trump speaks at an event in Phoenix on Tuesday. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's campaign, recognizing that he'll lose to himself if November's election is a referendum on him, is trying to flush Joe Biden into open combat by challenging him to more debates, taunting him as "Hidin' Biden," and posing a "Question of the day for Joe Biden."

Why it matters: Expect more of this. The Trump campaign is getting very frustrated that Biden is keeping a low profile and letting Trump give himself uppercuts every day.

Trump and Biden begin the battle for Arizona

Photos: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Two striking symbols — the border wall and America's first Black president — did the campaigning yesterday for presidential candidates trying to turn out bases that are worlds apart.

The state of play: Arizona, a state that President Trump won handily in 2016 but where polls now show Joe Biden leading, was firmly on both men's minds.