Tea party fires back at Hoffa
September 6th, 2011
12:17 PM ET
7 years ago

Tea party fires back at Hoffa

(CNN) - Members of the tea party movement, including Sarah Palin, came out strongly against comments made by Teamsters President Jim Hoffa Monday, when he referred to Republicans as "sons of bitches."

Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said the comments were "disgraceful" and called on President Barack Obama and DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to denounce the remarks.

"This is essentially calling for violence," Kremer said on CNN "Newsroom" Tuesday. "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."

Speaking onstage before the president arrived at a Labor Day rally Monday, Hoffa 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."

Sal Russo, a major backer of the Tea Party Express, sent an email to supporters Monday criticizing the president for allowing such rhetoric.

"It is disgusting and shameful that Obama allows this kind of violent rhetoric to continue. Isn't he the President of ALL Americans? How dare he allow his supporters to 'declare war' on American people who are standing up for liberty?" Russo wrote. "The reason President Obama doesn't put an end to the onslaught of attacks and insults is simple... he agrees with them."

Former Alaska Gov. Palin, who is considering a bid for president, cited Hoffa's comments in a Facebook post early Tuesday morning. As a union member, she said "it's sad to see much of the labor movement fall lock step" behind Hoffa and President Obama.

"How outrageously wrong this unapologetic Jim Hoffa is, for the people's movement is the real movement for working class men and women," Palin wrote. "It's rooted in real solidarity, and not special interests and corporate kickbacks."

- CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Sarah Palin • Tea Party Express • Tea Party movement
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Steve, New York City

    While Hoffa's comments might have been a bit inflammatory, the Tea Party's behavior has been out-of-control – holding the US' credit rating hostage, temporarily shutting down the FAA – some of their behavior amounts to political terrorism (in essence, making them even worse than entities such as the NRA and the AIPAC that perpetually bribe Washington).

    September 6, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Ed Texas

    The Tea Baggers are extremely one sided. Only after an African American became President did they care about the eoncomy and start to origanize. Almost 60% of the National Debt is the result of the Bush tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and the prescription drub unfunded benefit. Did you hear anything from the Tea Baggers during Dubya's Presidency? No, only when Obama became President did they show any concern using the excuse they didn't want to leave "the massive deft" to their children. I agree with what Hoffa said. They've done everything they can to destroy our country.

    September 6, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Reload

    Unions make up about 10% of the work force but think the rest of us should be carrying them. Hoffa–just as dirty as his father. Obama–pandering to the unions for their votes. Postal Service–going under due to workforce inflexibility and the burden the union has placed on it. Ford UAW on the brink of striking–how ungrateful can you get when the nation has carried you lard butts for the last couple of years. Obama and organized labor–complete failures with no new ideas, they are both killing the country with their selfishness and lack of understanding of the world around them. Obama's presidency and organized labor–two things that have gone well beyond their usefulness.

    September 6, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. South Side

    Nothing creates jobs faster than a union.

    September 6, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Don

    What a fight if would be. Dems are against gun ownership.(or hypocrites) Bring your pitchforks and sticks and let's you union idiots, I repeat union idiot commies, have at it.

    September 6, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    littleleers wrote:
    Every president receives threats. Remember George Bush was hung in effigy, a movie about his assassination, etc. Obama as POTUS is no different. Stop switching arguments. The problem is that Hoffa used highly inflammatory and violent speech against a large group of Americans. Wasserman-Schultz is just a typical progressive hack. Do as I say, not as I do (or say). What does Obama say or the WH about this disgusting Hoffa speech? Total silence....and endorsement.
    Of course, you are going to get silence and no comment. I think Bush was hung in effigy in Baghdad, the movie was made in Saudi Arabia by Al-Jezeera. And, everything you else you wrote is just as stupid and not related to Democrats in the slightest. And, neither is Hoffa related to elected Democratic officials.

    Hoffa is just another citizen expressing his freedom of speech. Hoffa is not an elected official in public office, has never been an elected official holding public office, and has tried to be an elected official holding public office.

    Hoffa is in a very different position from the unapologetic Palin and Bachmann, who not only refused to be apologetic, but defended and repeated their remarks without garning the angst of the fellow Republicans. In fact, their fellow elected officials defended them.

    On that note, hold your breathe and wait for an apology from the DNC or White House. It might change you from Red to Blue.

    September 6, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Reality Bites

    Violent language asking for violence? Like gun sights on all the democratic candidates? Like he claiming the President isn't a natural born citizen? Like calling the President a radical @uslim @errorist? Or claiming all democrats are socialists out to destroy America and not true Americans. Well isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? And made of metal? And used for heating things? Sarah had no problem inciting violent attitudes towards Obama while running for office. Now she has a problem. Not so fun when it is pointed your way is it Sarah (eye roll).

    September 6, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Jeff Campbell

    Talk about the pot calling the Kettle black, tea party "2nd amendment remidies" freaks!
    What a bunch of thin skinned hypocrites!

    September 6, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Dan

    To place the presidential seal on a podium where this gutter-speech just occurred is embarrassing -To give it a pass–even worse. As I have said–the most divisive dismissive Potus we have seen--

    September 6, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Lolo

    The GOP?Tea Baggers are really pathetic people. Now that they have made their money, now they want to cut out the unions for the little people. Also now they are trying to keep people from voting. These people are nothing but snakes in the grass. Please I beg of everyone who is disgusted by their behavior make sure that you go vote. These people are not ready for change or anything else to move America in a new direction for a better future. All they care about is getting the black man out of the white house and greed. Please go vote. This is going to be the only way to shut them down period. They are all talk and no action.

    September 6, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Enough is Enough wrote:
    Nothing kills jobs faster than a union.
    That makes for a good sound bite because their are not facts to support or deny that charge. But, their are facts that demonstrate that trickle down economics is grand scam pulled on the American people for the last 30+ years. Every time we have had an aggressive round of tax cuts, the result was a few months long feeding frenzy on Wall Street, followed by a recession, which lasted twice as long as the feeding frenzy. The Bush Tax Cuts caused a feeding frenzy that lasted several years. I guess the Recovery will, once again, take twice as long.

    September 6, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Laverne

    Maybe he was calling 'em like he sees them and I happen to agree. I know they have been called much worse, so the "sons of bitches" need to get over it!

    September 6, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. RBMartin

    Is this the same party that has called President Obama a socialist over spending foreigner from day one? I don't think the Tea Party likes the idea that there is someone just as angry as they are on the other side of things.

    September 6, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    And let's not forget that Tea Party people are far more likely to own guns than Democrats. I doubt they'd have much trouble defending themselves against Hoffa's "business associates."

    September 6, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. John K.

    Any union punk who threatens to" take someone out" should be more careful with their choice of words

    September 6, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. John/kc

    Unions are people, just like corporations are people, that is according to the supreme court!

    September 6, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Phony outrage, from phony candidates, of a phony "party"... Are people really surprised? What'd you expect?!?!

    September 6, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Terry

    Interesting comments from Sarah Palin, a woman pretending to run for President so she can sell books. Shameless....

    September 6, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. R.I.P. Damon

    Anybody else remember all those TEA Party rallies where the speakers implored the crowds to "take out" those S.O.B. Democrats and S.O.B. union leaders, not to mention lynch blacks and hang them from trees? Yeah, me neither...because it never happened.

    September 6, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Real Patriot

    How about a little consistency here?

    The Teapublicans have been calling Obama and other Democrats everything from Fascist to Nazis, to "Special Needs Children", "Gangsters", "Socialists" "Thugs", "Racists" (Thanks Glen Beck)...et cetera..... --depicting the President with a bone through his nose... the whole nine yards-

    But they can't stand being called sons of dogs? What an outrage! Oh the Humanity!

    September 6, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. California Conservative

    So much for civil discourse. They want a war? I say it's time to fire back at the dems.

    September 6, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Bill Edelman

    America needs jobs. Republicans vote against jobs. Hoffa is telling the truth and his outrage is real and justified. Tea Party loons should rage all they want. They started this current streak of open violence in politics. Now let the b*st*rds gag on a big dose of their own vitriolic medicine. They wanted a brawl. Now they've got one. Hypocrites as well as loons...

    September 6, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. FedUp

    "Take out" the SOB's?????? This coming from a mafia family? Sounds like a death threat to me. If a republican had said that, the democrats would have been screaming for a resignation. Why is the media glossing this over?

    September 6, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. justme

    So let me get this straight, its okay for the tea party to use gun sights to target democratic districts that they want to go after, but when a Democrat talks about taking them out, they get all whiny. Hey tea partiers, if you can't stand the fire then you need to get the heck out of the kitchen. Geez, talk about hypocrites.

    September 6, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Babe

    Hoffa was certainly a firebrand at that rally, but I saw no sign of the equivalent of the sort of "take no prisoners" rhetoric and ubiquitous signs equating Obama to Hitler evident at this rally. Hoffa gave a speech. A rallying cry for his followers, but he didn't incite anyone to violence (no, he really didn't–although he did encourage everyone to get rid of those lawmakers, presumably by voting them out). But no one has ever apologized for the many slurs and outright insults to the President, and yet these same people expect a different standard applied to the other side. That is what is not fair. The Tea Party continues to hold an attitude of entitlement that precludes everyone else. Inexplicable. And nonsense. I certainly hope no one even takes a nanosecond to think about apologizing to the intractable and unapologetic Tea Party.

    September 6, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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