Tea Party officials are demanding that President Barack Obama rebuke inflammatory and profane comments made by Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa Jr. during a Labor Day rally in Detroit.
While warming up the union-friendly crowd prior to Obama’s speech, Hoffa declared: 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 (the son and namesake of the legendary union boss who disappeared in the mid-1970s), then went to say: President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of b_tches out and give America back to an America where we belong.”
The chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, Amy Kremer, condemned Hoffa’s remarks as “dangerous and irresponsible” and described them as “a call for violence.”
The Tea Party Express asked Obama to “condemn this inappropriate and uncivil rhetoric,” adding that 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,” Kremer said in a written statement.
Leigh Strope, a spokeswoman for the Teamsters defended Hoffa’s remarks as a reflection of workers anger.
In addition, the Tea Party and other conservatives are outraged that the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, subsequently refused to criticize Hoffa for his combative remarks during an appearance on Fox News.
“I know you'd like to focus on language -- that's not what the American people are focused on, Wasserman-Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida, said Tuesday. The American people are focused on job creation.
She then criticized Fox for not challenging remarks made by Tea Partiers.
Are you kidding me? Really?” she said. “You take a walk with me to some of the Tea Party rallies. How many times have you called out coarse language at Tea Party rallies on this network? Almost never.
She later refused to comment on Hoffa’s incendiary language.
The American people, like President Obama understands, want us to focus on working together -- when I went home, my constituents asked me to come back to Washington and help continue to get this economy turned around, she said. That's my official response.
Ironically, Wasserman-Schultz had previously called for more civil political discourse after the shooting of her friend and colleague congresswoman Gabby Giffords in Arizona.
Thus far, the White House has not commented on Hoffa’s remarks.