Palin: Wisconsin union bosses 'acting like thugs'
March 11th, 2011
09:22 AM ET
11 years ago

Palin: Wisconsin union bosses 'acting like thugs'

(CNN) - Sarah Palin once again sounded off on the Wisconsin budget debate, calling on union supporters to tone down the rhetoric.

The former Alaska governor told Fox News' Sean Hannity union bosses are "acting like thugs" and it is their responsibility to "turn down the rhetoric and start getting truth out there so that nobody gets hurt."

"They are leading some of their good members down a road that will result in, unfortunately, somebody getting hurt if you believe the death threats that are being received by those who just happen to support amending some collective bargaining privileges of state unions," Palin said Thursday.

Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald received two death threats via e-mail, according to a spokesman for the senator.

After weeks of demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin over collective bargaining rights of public sector union workers, state lawmakers passed an amended version of a bill Thursday that would limit the bargaining rights of most state workers.

In a February Facebook post, Palin encouraged union workers to stand up to their bosses.

"At the end of the day, they're not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin's education budget," Palin wrote. "They're fighting to protect their own powerful privileges and their own political clout."

- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report


Filed under: Sarah Palin • Wisconsin
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. JPX

    As usual the vapid Palin is on the worng side of every issue. What a jerk.

    March 11, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Tim

    I wish the media would focus on the current leader of the free world's opinion of this anti-democratic demonstration in WI. After all, you dems love to point out that Palin is just a political talking head with no real power. Why not ask someone who seems to have the most power in the world what his views are. Apparently he's too busy making sure our children aren't bullied in school. Noble cause for the principle of a school, not the president of a nation. It seems that there are many things above his pay grade other than the abortion issue.

    March 11, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Phil T. Listener

    Tone down the rhetoric? That is something Palin should have done since first bursting on the scene in 2008.

    Maybe she should take her own advice. But we all know playing to the base means turning on the destructive words, which she knows how to do all too well.

    March 11, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Rick

    Walker considered sending in "troublemakers" to make the teachers and other peaceful protestors look bad. The Republicans would have no problem sending their own made-up death threat to themselves, for the same purpose.

    WHO HEARD THE PHONE CALL? WE ALL HEARD THE PHONE CALL!

    March 11, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Farfriend

    Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Please will you just disappear......oh wait, no we need her to be around for the 2012 election cycle. She is the best thing that ever happened to the Decmocrats.

    March 11, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. woody

    'tone down the rhetoris' – she's one to speak. Give me a break.

    March 11, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. dave

    wasnt she the one whose rhetoric was the center of controversy during the arizona shooting..now she wants rhetoric toned down....i agree with her but she isnt the best spokesman

    March 11, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. bam

    3months ago she would of had cross hairs on them and demanding they be lynched. this lady is a pathetic excuse for a human

    March 11, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Michael

    Sarah, please continue with your devicive rhetoric. The results will be the same as they were when you joined the McCain ticket. John McCain had a 10 point lead in the polls when he selected Sarah. Two weeks after that selection he was 20 points behind. Run, Sarah, Run!!!

    March 11, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Right Leaning Independent

    Unions are nothing more than legalized mafia like groups!! This move is not an assault on the middle class but rather an assault on a group that fights for unsustainable benefits at the taxpayers expense.. Seems to me that Walker has done an excellent job!! Time for the Unions to take all these non working folks that have been sleeping and protesting in the State house back to the states they were bussed in from!

    March 11, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Ilia Orkin

    Hey CNN, exactly why do we care about what Sarah Palin says? Can you answer me that question? Think about it.

    March 11, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Tina in NC

    Those darn thuggish teachers and their correctly spelled signs! Don't they know you're not a patriot unless you bring your gun, spit on congressmen and call them the n and f word, threaten second amendment remedies, scare people with talk of death panels&FEMA camps, make Obama look like Hitler and call anyone who doesn't agree with you socialist, communist Nazis.

    BTW, I'm curious to know what union Palin claims to have belonged to? She's never worked at a job outside of government as far as I know.

    March 11, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Bridget

    Where is this rhetoric she's talking about? Politicians on both sides get death threats. I doubt Palin wants to stack death threats against Rs up to those against Ds over the past few months and see whose stack is higher. A death threat does not equal rhetoric. But I don't see anyone in unions openly calling for people they disagree with to be shot or killed or forced out of the country "back to where they belong", or making their opponents look like anti-American thugs that everyone should live in fear of, or asking the question of their "leaders": Who will shoot [the opposition]?, or putting crosshairs over any of the WI congressmen, or talking "Second Amendment remedies" when they don't get their way. In fact, it was Gov. Walker who admitted to thinking about bringing in people to agitate the protesters. So who is providing the "rhetoric" here?

    March 11, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Freedom1

    The only thugs are those 2 squirrels running around in your cranium...

    March 11, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Sue

    It's OK for the Tea Party to demonstrate and act like THUGS but the Unions and the people who belong to the Unions don't have the right.....that's just like Palin and the Republicians and Tea Baggers, only certain rights in this country are for just their side, their thinking and not the rest of America......shut up and go back to Alaska, you are used up and dried up.....I can smell you foul Mouth clear over here in Oklahoma........

    March 11, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. cecilia

    Oh how I wish I could make this fool, idiot waste of a person go away – she who has begged, stolen and bribed money out of Americans, quit her dang job and flits like she has something to say that means anything – what a waste of a person

    March 11, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. beowulf2

    "At the end of the day, they're not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin's education budget," Palin wrote. "They're fighting to protect their own powerful privileges and their own political clout."
    -
    Ditto...

    March 11, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Kling

    I dont like much she has to say... but i agree with this!

    March 11, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Bridget

    Where is this rhetoric she's talking about? In fact, it was Gov. Walker who admitted to thinking about bringing in people to agitate the protesters.

    March 11, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Mike

    This from the individual who uses bulls eyes as progranda. I would be fine with getting rid of collective bargaining if every front line supervisor was also given the ability to create pay and benefit packages. That would roughly a level playing field between labor and management. But as long as pay scales and benefits are set at a state/corporate level then labor should be able to organize otherwise you will always have power concentration. Ask any economist whether having many parties on one side of a transaction and only one party on the other ever creates an equitable situation and they would tell you of course not. However, I do believe in right to work with union contributions being voluntary. Employees should be able to decide whether representation is worth it or not. If they decide it is then they should be able to organize.

    March 11, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. Ellen

    Its so easy to judge others when you make $12 million a year. Stop the rhetoic and tell the truth? That's RICH coming from Palin

    March 11, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. John Ellis

    Yes, she would know about shooting off your mouth and leading people down a path to violence. Truly a horrible and destructive political force.

    March 11, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. mary

    Wow! What a classic case of" the pot calling the kettle black." it is their responsibility to "turn down the rhetoric and start getting truth out there so that nobody gets hurt." As in, what about your words, Sarah: "leading some of their good members down a road that will result in, unfortunately, somebody getting hurt if you believe the death threats that are being received by ..." Palin said Thursday." Who received the gun sight target on her head in Arizona after you urged your followers to "lock and reload"? Do you not see the manipulative hypocrysy of your shrill and shallow words,
    Sarah?

    March 11, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. drace

    YOU turn down the rhetoric!!! The white collar worker is getting tired of WALL STREET MOB rule.

    March 11, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Judas

    How surreal is it for Palin, of all people, to suggest that other people need to tone down the rhetoric. Pot meet kettle. What a revolting hypocrite!

    March 11, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10