Democratic Indiana senator praises Trump on Carrier deal: 'Keep this up'

President-elect Donald Trump speaks to workers at Carrier air conditioning and heating on December 1, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Story highlights

  • Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from Indiana, this week praised Donald Trump's deal with Carrier to keep jobs from moving overseas.
  • "I was glad to see the jobs that were kept stay here, but what we also have to do is keep this up," he said.

(CNN)Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from Indiana, this week praised Donald Trump's deal with Carrier to keep jobs from moving overseas.

Donnelly, first elected in a surprising win in 2012, is up for re-election in the 2018 midterms in a state Trump won by nearly 20%.
"I was glad to see the jobs that were kept stay here, but what we also have to do is keep this up," Donnelly said on the Indiana local radio station 105.5 The River. "Because, there are other companies trying to do the same thing, who have been incredibly successful, and even with that success, they're still chasing $3 an hour wages in Mexico."
"So I sent [Trump] a letter saying that I thought it was absolutely critical for us to have programs in place that if you want federal contracts — if you wanna do business with the government — well then the company that's keeping the jobs in America gets the contract as opposed to the one's that's not," he continued. "Believe it or not, you get a tax credit for the moving costs to move the equipment offshore. That's crazy, and so I sent him a letter saying, 'hey, Mr. president-elect, if you stay with me on this stuff, I'll stand with you every time.'"
Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, earns about 10% of its revenue from the federal government through contracts.
Donnelly added that he hadn't spoken with Trump but has spoken with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence since the election.
Earlier in the interview, Donnelly said he pledged to work with Trump on things he thought would create more jobs in the country.
"Whenever President-elect Trump wants to do good things that make our country stronger count me in," he said. "You know, it's not about Republicans or Democrats it's, are we creating more jobs or creating more opportunities, are we keeping our nation safe? When we do, I'll be there with him every time. When it's other stuff, if it doesn't make sense for Indiana, I'll pass."