Dem Rep On Fenty’s Anti-Union Rhetoric: ‘Maybe That’s Why He’s The Former Mayor’

March 8, 2011 12:14 p.m.

Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) doesn’t have time for former Washington, DC mayor Adrian Fenty’s (D) concern over collective bargaining, and he says it’s clear most Democrats in the nation’s capital don’t either. Speaking with TPM after a hearing on the union struggles in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana, Andrews dismissed Fenty’s anti-union talk on MSNBC earlier on Tuesday.

Speaking on Morning Joe Tuesday morning, Fenty — whose term in office was marked by battles with organized labor in the city, especially the teacher’s union — said that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was “right on the substance” and “right on the politics” when it came to the fight with unions and their supporters in the Badger State.

“I think it’s a new day,” Fenty said. “I think a lot of these collective bargaining agreements are completely outdated.”

Andrews was not impressed.“Maybe that’s why he’s the former mayor,” Andrews said when asked about Fenty’s comments. “I would not [agree with that] and the voters evidently didn’t either.”

TPM caught up with Andrews at the end of a special hearing of the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee focused on the battles over union rights spreading across the Midwest. Democratic members met with union workers from Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin at the hearing which was called to bring (more) national attention on what Democrats have come to see as a winning issue.

“We all live in Wisconsin now,” Andrews said when asked why the hearing was important.. “There’s a national effort to undercut collective bargaining everywhere. Wisconsin is just the hottest spot, but it’s everywhere.”

“If you undercut collective bargaining you undercut the middle class,” he added. “And if you undercut the middle class, you undercut the American economy. So we think this is an issue every American should follow and engage in.”

Watch Fenty talk unions on Morning Joe, as first flagged by the Washington Post‘s Mike DeBonis:

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