**UPDATE: Rick Perry refuses to condemn Hoffa’s comments**
After preceding Obama on Sunday at union rally with words that can only be interpreted as a call to violence against Tea Partiers, Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa says he has no regrets and would use the same words all over again.
One of my warnings to all Tea Party was that the Left was going to turn to violence when they realized they were in existential trouble. So-called leftist and union leadership seems to be clearly trying to provoke some in the constituency to engage in violence. Look, if they think an election as from Sarah Palin featuring a map and surveyor’s symbols can incite mass murder, what exactly to they think is supposed to accomplish?
Combine this rhetoric with the build up of Waters’ “Tea Party can go to hell” to elected officials labeling us as Nazis and the Vice President agreeing that we’re “terrorists” to Carson’s obscene claim that Tea Party wants to hang people of color from a tree now to this, there’s only one thing in this package–a call for and incitements to violence. The fact that Tea Party has been the most peaceful *and successful* political movement in 50 years, perhaps explains the left’s panicked meltdown.
Teamsters President James Hoffa makes no apology for taking on the Tea Party during a union labor celebration, claiming, “They declared war on us.”
In Detroit, before President Obama arrived for a Labor Day speech, Hoffa rallied the crowd, “We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party.”
“President Obama, this is your army,” Hoffa concluded to applause, his voice raising to a shout. “We are ready to march. Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” he said, stepping back from the lectern where President Obama would speak less than an hour later.
“There’s a war on working Americans and we are getting sick and tired of it,” Hoffa told ABC News the next morning. “It’s absolutely a war. They declared war on us. We didn’t declare war on them. They’re the ones that introduced right to work in 14 states, and went after public employee bargaining rights in both Wisconsin and Ohio. We’re fighting them across the board. They want to roll the clock back to about 1900.” Hoffa said the war will be fought at the ballot box in 2012.
Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer issued a statement saying President Obama should reject the remarks, calling on him to “condemn this inappropriate and uncivil rhetoric, which has no place in the public forum.”
Hoffa said he’d say the exact same words all over again.
“I would because I believe it,” he said. “They’ve declared war on us. We didn’t declare war on them, they declared war on us. We’re fighting back. The question is, who started the war?”
The speech came shortly before President Obama took the stage in Detroit — and Hoffa’s remarks certainly overshadowed Obama’s on Fox. But the Teamsters chief said he was just matching fired-up conservative rhetoric when it comes to organized labor and Obama with some fired-up rhetoric of his own.
While the White House remains mum, Sarah Palin issued a support for union workers and a condemnation of Hoffa for his “thuggery” in a Facebook post today. Here’s a snippet, but please do read the whole thing.
In my speech on Saturday in Iowa, I said: “Between bailouts for Wall Street cronies and stimulus projects for union bosses’ security and ‘green energy’ giveaways, [Barack Obama] took care of his friends. And now they’re on course to raise a billion dollars for his re-election bid so that they can do it all over again.” This was shamefully on display yesterday at President Obama’s taxpayer-funded campaign rally in Detroit. In introducing the President, Teamsters President James Hoffa represented precisely what I was talking about as he declared war on concerned independent Americans and on the freshman members we sent to Congress last November by saying, “Let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out!”
What I say now, I say as a proud former union member and the wife, daughter, and sister of union members. So, as a former card-carrying IBEW sister married to a proud former Laborers, IBEW, and later USW member, please hear me out. What I have to say is for the hard working, patriotic, selfless union brothers and sisters in Michigan and throughout our country: Please don’t be taken in by union bosses’ thuggery like Jim Hoffa represented yesterday. Union bosses like this do not have your best interests at heart. What they care about is their own power and re-electing their friend Barack Obama so he will take care of them to the detriment of everyone else…
So, now these union bosses are desperately trying to cast the grassroots Tea Party Movement as being “against the workingman.” How outrageously wrong this unapologetic Jim Hoffa is, for the people’s movement is the real movement for working class men and women. It’s rooted in real solidarity, and not special interests and corporate kickbacks. It represents the needed reform that will empower workers and job creators. We stand with the little guy against the corruption and influence peddling of those who collude to grease the wheels of government power…
Recently someone commented: “I’m a union member. I’ve been a Democrat all my life. Now I’ll vote for anyone with a plan to save America.” I know what that person is feeling. I want all good union brothers and sisters to know that there is an alternative. The grassroots, independent Tea Party Movement articulates a real alternative rooted in free men and free markets, not the cronyism of Barack Obama and the permanent political class in DC. Their cronyism is why we have no job growth, massive unsustainable debt, and a housing market in the tank. Too many politicians are simply addressing the economic symptoms instead of fighting the underlying disease. The path forward is through reform. On Saturday, I outlined some ideas about that reform, and I will continue to do so.
In the meantime, good union brothers and sisters, don’t let Hoffa tell you what to do. He doesn’t represent the real interests of working men and women. He’s not doing you any favors. He’s just living off your paychecks.