Bachmann vs. Obama on Wisconsin unions

Michele Bachmann wants the president out of Wisconsin.
Michele Bachmann wants the president out of Wisconsin.

Rep. Michele Bachmann told Megyn Kelly on Fox News this afternoon that it was admirable of former president Ronald Reagan to insert himself into the air traffic controllers strike of 1981 - and fire all the strikers.

But she said it was despicable of President Barack Obama to insert himself into the union-busting effort going on Wisconsin today -- because he's on the side of the unions.

"What's shocking is that the White House is weighing in, taking sides, and bringing in a campaign apparatus to set this up," Bachmann said.

Massive demonstrations continued in Madison today, as they have all week, over a bill passed by the Wisconsin Assembly that would strip public employee union members of their collective bargaining rights. The bill is dead for now in the state Senate because all 14 Democrats there have left the state, preventing the quorum necessary to vote on the measure. [Story/Photos: Wisconsin missing senator photos: Have you seen these politicians?]

The Wisconsin 14 fled the state to avoid voting on the anti-union bill.
The Wisconsin 14 fled the state to avoid voting on the anti-union bill.
City Pages

The bill is spearheaded by GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who claims he needs to strip the union of its bargaining rights to help balance the state budget. His critics say that he's just using the budget as an excuse to neuter the public employee unions.

The Washington Post reported today that the White House is helping to organize the protests. And Obama told a Wisconsin TV station that he suspected the unions were being scapegoated. [Story/Poll: Barack Obama supports Wisconsin unions. Do you?]

"Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions," Obama said. "I think everybody's got to make some adjustments, but I think it's also important to recognize that public employees make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."

Such thinking is "beyond conscionable," Bachmann opined (Hat tip: TPM):

"If we look back to what President Reagan did, President Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. We're now on day three of Wisconsin teachers leaving their post, and leaving the children that they are tasked to serve, and not teaching them, so that they can go out and protest, so they can make more money. This is beyond conscionable."

Bachmann is all about jobs, jobs, jobs - unless we're talking about teachers and other public employees in Wisconsin. In their case, she just wants to say, "You're fired."

More Wisconsin union stories:

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