“an assault on unions”

Interview with TMJ4 in Milwaukee, February 16

Washington Post: Obama voices strong support for Wisconsin public employees: With the standoff continuing to rage over Governor Scott Walker’s push to strip public employees of bargaining rights, Obama has now waded into the debate, denouncing Walker’s proposal as an “assault on unions.” In an interview with local WTMJ-TV Obama said we all need to “make some adjustments to new fiscal realities,” but insisted it’s important not to “vilify” public employees and described them as “our neighbors, our friends”:

“Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally seems like more of an assault on unions. And I think it’s very important for us to understand that public employees, they’re our neighbors, they’re our friends. These are folks who are teachers and they’re firefighters and they’re social workers and they’re police officers. They make a lot of sacrifices and make a big contribution. And I think it’s important not to vilify them or to suggest that somehow all these budget problems are due to public employees.”

Obama’s comments – which put him squarely in opposition to the right’s ongoing campaign to scapegoat public workers for our economic woes – could draw more national media attention to a story that’s mostly unfolded so far online.

7 Responses to ““an assault on unions””

  1. 1 Proud of Obama
    February 17, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Good morning, all. This was an absolutely brilliant interview. The President so eloquently explained his approach to the budgets and correctly pointed out that the repubs have put forth nothing. Love our President. He is so smart and so visionary.

  2. 2 Sue in Minnesota
    February 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    That was an excellent interview….President Obama has such a command of the issues and facts, and I the interviewer asked some great questions.

  3. 3 africa
    February 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Don’t tell that to Ed schultz.

    • 4 majii
      February 17, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      I stopped listening to Schultz last year because he oftentimes gets overly emotional, and I think it’s an attempt to boost his ratings. What we need is information without the theatrics. I cannot stand having a so-called left-leaning commentator inviting so many witless, ignorant members of the rw on to his/her show and allowing them to spread lies, propaganda, and conspiracy theories. This is not news, and these types of people should not be given a national platform at any time to misinform the citizenry.

    • 5 Sue in Minnesota
      February 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      His bombast is not productive. The spokespeople on the left that have national platforms need to find ways to raise awareness,
      assert political pressure without deamonizing the people in position to effect the change.

      I think one of President Obama’s legacies will be that he redirected our political disourse to a more respectful, meaningful and productive form of debate. I think people are so clueless to the many ways President Obama is influencing change in our government, and is establishing new and very high standards, for both politicians and the expectation and involvement of voters.
      I truly believe he is a multi-dimensional chess player…the guy is genuis manifest.

  4. February 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I can understand him wanting to boost his ratings, but to out and out lie about the President’s remarks is another. He did a Fox News hatchett job on the President’s comments. Where is the credibility?

  5. 7 EDP4BHO
    February 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks, Chipsticks, for posting the meat of the interview, this way, I could just sit here and marvel at that beautiful smile. And the interview simply showed the mastery of PBO’s oratorical skills as well as his knowledge of the facts. This is what’s missing in politics today…..facts. I rarely turn on my tv- I come home, get my meal, and come directly here. With all the information posted here, who needs the boob tube anyway? Great job!

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