Despite President Obama’s repeated claims to change the tone in Washington, the White House had no comment this 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 this 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-Senator Obama in his opening remarks at a McCain campaign event. In the view of many observers, Cunningham played into rumors that Obama was Muslim by repeatedly referring to him by his full name “Barack Hussein Obama.” At the very least, doing so disparagingly seemed to be a way to play into attempts to portray the president as something less than a real American.
McCain immediately took responsibility and profusely apologized for Cunningham’s remarks.
Should President Obama do the same regarding Hoffa 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.”