Entries in James Hoffa (2)


James Hoffa: Tea Party 'Declared War on Us'

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- 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 Tuesday 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.”

Union labor leaders have been critical of President Obama themselves for not being tougher with Republicans in Congress.  Hoffa told ABC News that unions will look at individual races, state by state, to decide which candidates to support.

As for President’s Obama’s own re-election, can he count on unions?  Hoffa was careful with his answer, and did not mention the president by name.

“The way this is shaping up, we could have Sarah Palin running.  We could have Michele Bachmann.  Those people are anti-worker, anti-middle class.  And that’s going to make the decision easy.  We’re going to have to see what happens here but it certainly looks like we’re going to be backing the Democratic candidate if we get an extremely right wing candidate which I think we will,“ he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House: No Comment on Union Leader’s Anti-Tea Party Rhetoric

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Despite President Obama’s repeated claims to change the tone in Washington, the White House had no comment Monday afternoon after Teamsters Union leader James Hoffa, speaking at an event before President Obama, said of Tea Party activists that, come November, Democrats should “take these sons of bitches out.”

Warming up the crowd before President Obama’s Labor Day speech in Detroit Monday afternoon, Hoffa warned the largely union crowd that the Tea Party was waging a “war on workers.”

“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.  And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war.  The one thing about working people is we like a good fight.  And you know what?  They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner.  It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America.  We’re going to win that war,” Hoffa told thousands of workers gathered for the annual event organized by the Detroit Labor Council.

“President Obama, this is your army.  We are ready to march…Everybody here’s got a vote…Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” he concluded.

The Tea Party Express has called on President Obama to “condemn this inappropriate and uncivil rhetoric,” saying it “has no place in the public forum.”

“Jimmy Hoffa’s remarks are inexcusable and amount to a call for violence on peaceful tea party members, which include many Teamster members,” Tea Party Express chair Amy Kremer said in a written statement.

During the 2008 campaign, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., immediately rebuked talk radio host Bill Cunningham when he disparaged then-Sen. Obama in his opening remarks at a McCain campaign event.  Cunningham had fueled rumors that Obama was Muslim by repeatedly referring to him by his full name “Barack Hussein Obama.”

McCain immediately took responsibility and profusely apologized for Cunningham’s remarks.

Should President Obama do the same regarding Hoffa's comments about the Tea Party?  The president has repeatedly called for increased civility in American politics.

“Only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation,” the president said in January.

“I do believe there is hope for civility.  I do believe there’s hope for progress,” Obama said after last November’s midterm elections.

At the time, Obama admitted that he had neglected “some things that matter a lot to people,” including “maintaining a bipartisan tone in Washington,” and that he planned to “redouble my efforts to go back to some of those first principles.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio