Washington (CNN) – Richard Trumka is not ready to endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. But that may be because, as he says, "there is no there, there."
At a breakfast with journalists on Thursday, the labor icon and president of the AFL-CIO spoke highly of Clinton, the former secretary of state and favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, but he did raise some questions that he hopes Clinton will answer if she runs.
"I think that Hillary did an excellent job as secretary of state. I think she is very, very qualified to be president," Trumka said at the breakfast, which was hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. "We watch every single day. And my thoughts are it is too early to say. There is no there, there yet."
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Despite being laudatory, Trumka's comments should not be seen as an early endorsement of Clinton.
"Would I say she is the favorite now? Yes," he said. "But I think anytime anybody believes there is going to be a coronation, that is dangerous for the candidate."
The AFL-CIO recently came to an agreement with all its member unions that "no one will endorse [in 2016] until we say all of us are going to endorse," Trumka said. Before doing that, the group wants to know where candidates stand on raising the minimum wage, tax code reform and trade issues.
Trumka said his group will be questioning all presidential candidates in order to make their endorsement and will be looking in particular at the candidates’ economic advisers.
"One of our biggest concerns is who the candidates economic team is," he said. "If you get the same economic team, you are going to get the same results and the same results aren't good enough for working people."
Support for The North American Free Trade Agreement, an agreement signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1993, was among the top issues Trumka said his group would look at as a negative.
Also on that list were support for "tax codes that favor sending jobs oversees" and "people who think Wall Street are the be-all and end-all."
The AFL-CIO did not endorse Clinton when she ran for president in 2008, but the group waited until the primary was nearly over to back her Democratic challenger, then-Sen. Barack Obama. Other unions were split between the candidates during the contentious primary.
Earlier this month, AFL-CIO Political Director Mike Podhorzer told reporters that the group was withholding judgment on Clinton for now, according to The Hill.
Clinton was not the only possible 2016 contender that Trumka spoke highly of, however. The labor leader also said Sen. Elizabeth Warren was one of the labor's most supportive friends in the Senate.