Biden refers to Republicans as "the Barbarians" at the gates
"you are the only folks keeping the barbarians from the gates"
"stop this onslaught"
"the other side has declared war on labor's house"
"President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong."
James Hoffa spoke before Obama, but Obama didn't reprimand Hoffa for the type of language used here. Realclearpolitics refers to this as "Hoffa Threatens GOP at Obama Event." In fact, Obama said that he was "proud" of Hoffa immediately after the union leader's remarks shown above. Obama's talk was not billed as a political talk so it was billed to the taxpayers to pay for its costs. Listen to this portion of the speech at the bottom of this page and tell me it was not a political speech.
UPDATE 4: Jake Tapper here is great when he asks about what the standard should be for the 2012 campaign. A video is available here.
MR. CARNEY: Mr. Hoffa speaks for himself. He speaks for the labor movement, the AFL-CIO. The President speaks for himself. I speak for the President.
What the President was glad to do yesterday was have the opportunity to present his views on the importance of working Americans and on the importance of taking measures to help working Americans --
Q Okay, so the precedent --
MR. CARNEY: -- to create jobs and grow the economy.
Q So the precedent you’re setting right now for the 2012 election is, the candidate -- the Republican candidates are the ones that we need to pay attention to, and those who introduce them at rallies, their surrogates -- you don’t have to pay attention to anything that they say.
MR. CARNEY: Jake, I really -- I think I’ve said what I can say about this.
Q I just -- is that the standard now?
MR. CARNEY: You can report it as you --
Q I’d rather not have to do this Washington Kabuki every time something happens --
MR. CARNEY: It’s up to you to do the Kabuki --
Q -- but if that’s the standard -- if that’s the standard, then --
MR. CARNEY: The standard is, we should focus on the actions we can take to grow the economy and create jobs, instead of focusing on Kabuki theater.
Q Did the President find the comments appropriate?
MR. CARNEY: Can we move on?
UPDATE 3: So do you believe your own ears or Media Matters? Matt Gertz at Media Matters claims that Hoffa said this.
HOFFA: Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much!
Listen to the video of the speech from above and see if Hoffa made the statement the way that everyone is reporting it. Hoffa might have made other statements, but surely this is the one that has gotten people upset. Media Matters seems to be willing to do anything to go after Fox News.
UPDATE 2: DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz refuses to criticize Hoffa's comments available here.
UPDATE: Someone in the UK had the same thoughts that I did. Obama calls Republicans on language when Democrats constantly use much worse language, yet he never specifically condemns Democrats for what they have said.
. . . But the statements today by Jimmy Hoffa Jr and Vice President Joe Biden demean the presidency and, tactically speaking, are stupid own goals.
Hoffa, the Teamsters president, was warming up a Detroit crowd when he said: “President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of a bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.”
Biden, whose mouth has long been a liability for Obama, was at an AFL-CIO rally when he told union members: “You are the only folks keeping the barbarians from the gates…the other side has declared war on labour’s house.”
These comments were not nearly as bad as the statement last week by Congressman Andre Carson last week that members of the Tea Party want black people “hanging from a tree”. Let’s not get too sanctimonious here – they’re fairly common sentiments behind the scenes on both sides of the political divide.
The difference, of course, is that they were uttered publicly by someone chosen by the White House to introduce Obama and by the sitting vice-president at a time when Obama is calling for a bipartisan coming together to tackle the economy. To add to their foolishness, they follow on from Obama’s sensible call in January for “civility” in public discourse and for people to talk “in a way that heals, not a way that wounds”.
Hoffa’s comments were much worse than Biden’s, though the vice-president’s demeanour suggests he could be a liability on the campaign trail (I’d wager there’s a campaign plan for him to be used only in “rev up the base” type events). Put together, they are embarrassing enough to require an apology from Obama. . . .