Teamsters President James P. Hoffa said he has no regrets about the inflammatory remarks he made against Republicans and the Tea Party during a raucous Labor Day rally in Detroit, Mich. ahead of a speech by President Barack Obama.
While warming up the pro-union crowd, Hoffa declared, among other things, “It is the Tea Party … there is only one way to beat and win that war… They've got a war, they got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner.”
He also stated: President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these sons of b-----s out and give America back to an America where we belong.”
The incendiary remarks prompted an outcry from Tea Party officials, who demanded that Hoffa personally apologize and that Obama rebuke the union boss.
However, no such contrition appears to be forthcoming.
Not only has the White House declined to comment on the growing flap, but Hoffa himself defended his remarks and said he would say the same things over again.
They [Tea Party/Republicans have] declared war on us,” Hoffa told the left-leaning Talking Points Memo (TPM) blog. “We didn't declare war on them, they declared war on us. We're fighting back. The question is, who started the war?
Hoffa said conservatives who criticize him for name-calling are being hypocritical and the right wing presents a real danger to the future of the union movement.
How is that different than Mitch McConnell saying he wants to take out Barack Obama? Hoffa told TPM.
The right wing -- The Tea Party, backed by the Koch brothers, the Chamber of Commerce and the Walton family [of Wal-Mart] are underwriting, you know, bills to take away collective bargaining. [GOP Congressmen] Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor want to take away Social Security and Medicaid. The answer to that is, people that do that, is we're going to declare war on them.”
Hoffa also spoke glowingly of Obama, who has been criticized by some union bosses for not doing more for workers.
I think all of us want to see [Obama] do more with regards to protecting collective bargaining, Hoffa told TPM.
But certainly at this point, when we're looking at Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, then certainly he's the person that we have to work with and to fight for worker's rights in this country.
Levi Russell, A spokesman for The Tea Party Express, said Hoffa is a dinosaur living in the past.
Jimmy Hoffa is a has-been relic stuck in a former era,” Russell told TPM.
“His idea of freedom and liberty involves forcibly extorting union dues from their membership, and applying them to whichever crooked politician has his hand out. These big union thugs are on the wrong side of history, which is why they lose every time they try to attack We the People.
Russell’s colleague Amy Kremer earlier condemned Hoffa’s comments.
“Jimmy Hoffa’s remarks are inexcusable and amount to a call for violence on peaceful Tea Party members, which include many Teamster members,” she said in a written statement.