It's unclear what President-elect Donald Trump thought he was accomplishing by lashing out on Twitter against Chuck Jones, the president of United Steelworkers' Local 1999. As former labor secretary Robert Reich made clear on "Anderson Cooper 360" on Wednesday night, however, the overall impression is not good.
"With all due respect, Mr. Trump, you are our president-elect of the United States," Reich said on the cable news show, seemingly addressing his remarks in the direction of the president-elect. "You are looking and acting as if you are mean and petty, thin-skinned and vindictive. Stop this. This is not a fireside chat."
Reich went on to observe that there seemed to be a deeper problem underlying Trump's constant attacks against his critics.
"What you, Mr. Trump, what you would like is for no one, not a CEO, no one on television, no journalist, nobody to criticize you," Reich said. "You take offense at that."
Added Reich: "You are going to be president shortly. You are going to have at your command not just Twitter but also the CIA, the IRS, the FBI. If you have this kind of thin-skinned vindictiveness attitude toward anybody who criticizes you, we are in very deep trouble and, sir, so are you."
Perhaps Reich's attitude was best summed up when he simply stated, "This is bullying. This is not using the bully pulpit."
Trump's latest Twitter tantrum was prompted by Jones, the union representative of the Carrier employees whose jobs Trump claimed to have saved. Jones pointed out this week that Trump had "lied his ass off" about the number of positions that he had managed to keep from being shipped overseas (Trump said it was 1,100, but the real number is closer to 800).
His promise to keep American jobs from being exported is thought to have helped Trump score votes in the pivotal swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.