House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is accusing President Obama of using his political organization to “demagogue” the efforts of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and other GOP governors who are curbing the bargaining rights of public employees in the name of balancing the budget.
“President Obama has acknowledged the challenges we face, but – thus far – he has done nothing to offer solutions,” Boehner said in a statement. “Now, worse, his political organization is colluding with special-interest allies across the country to demagogue reform-minded governors who are making the tough choices that the President is avoiding.”Â Boehner also invoked the recent unrest in Greece over that country’s foundering economy.
“When the American people watched the people of Greece take to the streets to protest cuts to unsustainable government programs, they worried it might foreshadow events in our nation’s distant future – but today, we see the same sort of protests on the streets of Madison, fueled by President Obama’s own political machine,” he said.
In the wake of public-worker protests breaking out in the state capital of Wisconsin and other states, reports have focused on Obama’s political operation — Organizing for America –working in close coordination with state and national union officials to mobilize thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals. And, the Associated Press reports the President’s union allies plan to spend money to gin up similar protests in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, Maine, and Pennsylvania.
Although late to the game, pro-Tea Party organizations, such as American Majority, which is run by the son of former Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS), are now flooding into Madison, Wisc., and other state capitols. American Majority plans an “I Stand With Scott Walker” state rally at the capitol in Madison on Saturday.
According to a link on America Majority’s Facebook page, the rally will feature Ryun, Andrew Breitbart of Breitbart.com, Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, and others.
“We need concerned Wisconsin citizens to show up at noon on Saturday, February 19th to voice our support for Gov. Walker and our conservative legislators! Tell your friends–let’s set a turn out record! Remember to be peaceful and bring those signs!” says a posting on the site.
Boehner would likely welcome the Tea Party activists showing up in force, but he’s not saying anything about that. His office did not respond to a question about it.
White House spokesman Jay Carney hit back, telling reporters on Air Force One, that the President understands the need for state governments to reduce spending and to make tough choices, but he doesn’t believe the tough fiscal environment should be used as an excuse to attack worker rights.
“[The President] is very understanding of the need for state governments, governors, state legislatures to reduce spending, to be — to make tough choices, to be fiscally responsible,” Carney said. “He’s doing that at the federal level and he understands that states need to do that at the state level.
“But he also feels very strongly that we need not to make this an assault on the collective bargaining rights of workers in a given state. Public service workers need to make sacrifices just like everyone else, but there’s a distinction here that he sees,” Carney said.