Hoffa responds, reaffirms tea party remarks
September 6th, 2011
03:40 PM ET
3 years ago

Hoffa responds, reaffirms tea party remarks

(CNN) - Teamsters President Jim Hoffa stood by comments he made at an event Monday, where he referred to Republicans as "sons of bitches," after receiving criticism from members of the tea party movement, including Sarah Palin.

In a statement Tuesday, Hoffa said his comments at the event echoed the sentiments of American workers who are "under attack by corporate-funded politicians who want to destroy the middle class."

"We're tired of seeing good-paying jobs shipped overseas. This fight is about the economy, it's about jobs and it's about rebuilding America," Hoffa said. "As I said yesterday in Detroit, we all have to vote in order to take these anti-worker politicians out of office."

Hoffa said his entire speech shows he was "referring to voting out the Tea Party politicians in 2012, not inciting violence against members of Tea Party organizations."

Speaking onstage before the president arrived at a Labor Day rally Monday, he stressed the importance of creating American jobs and in part blamed members of the tea party movement for stalling action in Washington.

"President Obama, we want one thing, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. That is what we are going to tell him," Hoffa said. "And when he sees what we are doing here, he will be inspired. But he needs help and you know what, everybody here has got a vote. If we go back and we keep the eye on the prize. Let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong."

The Tea Party Express quickly responded to the comments in an email to supporters and Chairwoman Amy Kremer told CNN Tuesday the comments were "disgraceful."

"This is essentially calling for violence," Kremer said on CNN "Newsroom." "Anybody that says let's 'take out these SOBs,' that is absurd and not the language we should be using when we're having these conversations."

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took to her Facebook page to criticize the comments as "outrageously wrong."

- CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Sarah Palin • Tea Party movement
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Wildone

    The anti-union antics of the GOP and Tea Baggers should be a wake up call to all working Americans. Good for you, Jim, for telling it like it is. If the Republicans regain both houses and the Presidency it will be the end of the middle class. There will be two kinds of Americans: the rich and the working poor.

    September 6, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. KAZPORT

    This is simply Hoffas only way to stir his base to make it an Us agianst Them... All I can say is if it were anyone in the GOP they would have been lambasted. Just keep on stirring the wasp's nest yet again and and we will see who gets stung.

    September 6, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Labor is the backbone of American business. History shows us how organized labor allowed the middle class to emerge – something the right-wingers would love to reverse. As the Republicans attack unions they attempt to hand their corporate overlords yet another gift for the greedy. I'm amused they find Hoffa's behavior "distasteful". I remember the racists signs the Tea Party had throughpout the crowd before the press exposed their core values. They can dish it out but can't take it.

    September 6, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Please. The fake outrage from the Tea Party is a joke, since they have been calling for Obama's impeachment, labelling him a socialist, a Nazi, a dictator, an egotist, a Muslim, etc. Now that someone has called them on their rhetoric with something that approaches their levels of incitment ( Remember " Second Amendment remedies", and "don't retreat, reload!"), they are screaming for calls of civility that ring very hollow. Remember the Tea Party supporters of Rand Paul who stomped on the head of a woman who weghed no more than, oh, say, 120 pounds, then one ahd the nerve to demand she apologise for making him " lose control"? Where was Kremer then? Where was Palin then? Too busy painting gunsites on people like Gabby Giffords, probably. Besides, this is the head of the Teamsters: I remember Reagan was all too happy to accept the endorsement of the Teamsters, calling them " real Americans": now, when they call out the latest fringe movement to ooze out of the corpse of conservatism because of the conservative, anti-worker and anti-middle class policies of teh alst 3 decades, the Tea party has the arrogance to play victim. No, my conservative friends, you have no idea how badly your pawns are going to be blown out of the water in 14 months: Hoffa did you a favor by warning you, but it won't change the result. You'll be done.

    September 6, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    Hoffa had better go to bat for Obama. Without Obama, unions have very little influence in Washington for their outdated, unproductive strategies. They claim to stand up for the middle class, but who really benefits? Union bosses like Hoffa at the expense of middle class workers and the American economy. And Obama loves it because Union bosses can apparently organize their membership and convince them who and what to vote for. That's his only chance, too and he knows it.

    September 6, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. michaelam

    Go Hoffa-

    And to Emma: I will choose the mafia anyday over a bunch of bigoted thugs affectionately known as the Tea Party...American Tealiban! Yes, that is how disgusting the Tea Party is in my world.

    September 6, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Chas in Iowa

    He was stating in very strong words that everyone needs to vote to get the GOP and Tea Party out of office. The Tea Party has responded by stating they feel he was inciting violence.
    *****Vivid imaginations those Tea Party folks

    September 6, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. montanataxman

    Unions are the down fall of this country. We are peparing an initiative in Montana for the voters to have a say so if state or government employees can organize. Union members are lazy and caused the railroad in livingston to be closed. I am a converative, never thought about the Tea Party, but I will now if it bothers unions.

    September 6, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Oh really! And this was the same Sarah Palin that used a gun sight on Gabrielle Giffords' district?"

    The same. I do believe she and several other GOPers also defended the Pima County GOP when they auctioned off a Glock last week (the same gun that was used to shoot Giffords). Is everyone aware that their ploy to insult and offend everyone and get publicity for it actually worked? They were so thrilled with the auction's results, because so many GOPers participated just to show everyone what they thought of being called offensive and insensitive, that they're having another gun auction this week...with a deer hunting rifle...you know, the kind you put a scope on that has the same crosshairs in it that Palin used on her lovely little map. Apparently "Loughner's Glock couldn't get her out of office, but ours can" wasn't enough for them. Now they're looking to hint that next time it might work better to go Lee Harvey style.

    September 6, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. greekerious

    Hoffa is RIGHT ON.

    September 6, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. creole

    Give thin YELL Mr. Godfather. It's okay for the teabaggers to say what they want. It's about time someone from the left grew some Balls.

    September 6, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "This is simply Hoffas only way to stir his base to make it an Us agianst Them"

    BIG FAT HINT: THE TEATROLLS ALREADY MADE IT ABOUT "US AGAINST THEM." From any objective standpoint, Hoffa's comments and this kind of response to what the GOP and teatrolls and corporate america have been doing to the middle-class, poor and labor force in this country for the past 30+ years IS ACTUALLY A LITTLE LATE IN COMING.

    September 6, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Former New Yorker

    I am lucky in that I have been employed through this recession and still have a job today. I believe there is a growing frustration out there that the Republican party ran on jobs in the mid terms and have done nothing since being sworn in. The obstructionism needs to stop and both parties need to work together for the benefit of the country. The lower taxes for the job creators has not worked. It should be country before party. I know a lot of people that have not been as fortunate as I have been and they need help now. It is a shame that there is not more concern for all Americans. This should not be R vs D.

    September 6, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took to her Facebook page to criticize the comments as "outrageously wrong."

    But putting gun sights on a map is OK and after one of those Congresswomen (Gabrielle Giffords) was shot, any accusation of Palin's instigation is "blood libel"?

    September 6, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. HoffaBurger

    Anyone think he looks like fatb@stard off Austin Powers?

    September 6, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. JohnReedjr

    The reaction to this speech shows that no one was listening to what was said. The right wing is so used to edited comments and sound bites that they would not be able to recognize the truth if it knocked them down an the way to Damascus.

    September 6, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Joe E.

    Wow! Anger is simmering. Will it erupt in the polls? Only time and involvement of the people will tell. I hope that the political center discards ALL fringe candidates. We need consensus, not derision.

    September 6, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Liberal elite=anyone with an education

    Hey Tea Party – that funny taste? Yeah, that'd be your own medicine. Maybe you should have tried these sensibilities before you spent nearly three years inciting hate!

    September 6, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Joe E.

    CNN,

    Why is this post considered subject to moderation? Because I don't curse or rant in it? How's about taking me off of your naughty list for a change?
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Wow! Anger is simmering. Will it erupt in the polls? Only time and involvement of the people will tell. I hope that the political center discards ALL fringe candidates. We need consensus, not derision.

    September 6, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "The truth is slowly leaking out about the Tea Party and Republicans, finally. They are hypocrites. They hold up one set of rules for you, and another set of rules for the themselves. "

    This is the universal phenomenon known as IOKIYAR, which is a predictably and particualrly prevalent feature in the MSM's reporting:

    It's
    OK
    If
    You're
    A
    Republican

    September 6, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    "From any objective standpoint, Hoffa's comments and this kind of response to what the GOP and teatrolls and corporate america have been doing to the middle-class, poor and labor force in this country for the past 30+ years IS ACTUALLY A LITTLE LATE IN COMING."

    While I agree, I think there is another GOP strategy in play here: From January 20, 2009 until November 6, 2012, continually stir up anger, fear, hatred and division among the American voters so that on November 6, 2012, elections can be quietly stolen.

    As the Repubs win by a hair across the country, people will buy it, since we are, after all, "divided" and "polarized."

    Repubs stole the election in 2000; I'm betting they'll be trying to do it again, albeit much more subtly this time. (And who knows, maybe they did in 2010 as a "practice run").

    September 6, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Stacey

    Go Hoffa! Amazing how the teatards can't take their own medicine back. They dish out hate 24/7; FAUX sNooze and conservative radio dish out racial bigotry and hate 24/7. Someone rightly calls them SOBs and they're crying to their momma about it. In the words of Congesswoman Maxine Waters – the Tea Party can go straight to hell!

    GO HOFFA! About time we stood up to these facists who are trying their best to destroy America.

    September 6, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Brooke

    YES! The middle class should be in the streets! R E V O L U T I O N!

    September 6, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. once upon a horse

    "don't retreat, RELOAD!!" that's ok to say..no violence meant..BUT "take these SOBs out" OMG that is VIOLENCE the Tea Partier wail. Give me a freaking break.

    September 6, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. diridi

    I commend and applaud, and I vote if he runs for office.....o.k,

    September 6, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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