(CNN) - She took a baseball bat to a piñata bearing the likeness of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, but when asked about the swings on Thursday, Donna Dewitt said she had no "regrets," and that "it could have been any face on that piñata."
"I certainly didn't have any hostilities so it wasn't intended to be hostile," she said Wednesday on CNN's "John King, USA." "My husband and I have been married 44 years. There are times you could have probably put his face on it, and he feels the same way about me. It was a piñata."
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Video of Dewitt, president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, dealing nine intense blows to the piñata was posted online, drawing rebuke from the national AFL-CIO and comment from Haley, whose face can be seen on the purple and black piñata as it hung in an outdoor picnic patio.
On Tuesday, Haley posted a link to the video on her Twitter account, writing, "Wow. I wonder if the unions think this kind of thing will make people take them seriously."
The video shows Dewitt pummeling the piñata as onlookers - attendees at her retirement party and policy retreat - cheer her on.
The national AFL-CIO, the biggest U.S. labor organization, said the incident was not "an appropriate joke."
"While it was meant as fun, there is absolutely no place for that kind of joke in a conversation that is extremely serious about how to rebuild our middle class and our country," the organization said in a statement. "There's plenty to talk about in Governor Haley's awful record."
In the interview, Dewitt said she is "not a traditional AFL CIO leader" and that she has "had overwhelming support from people that understand that this has become a tool for our governor to go out and raise money and to try to discourage union membership."
Haley has been outspoken against organized labor efforts, especially those to unionize a Boeing plant in her state.
A lawsuit brought by the AFL-CIO and a machinists union against Haley was thrown out earlier this year, with the federal appeals court ruling that anti-union language used by Haley and others could not be proven as "anything but heated political rhetoric."
– CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report