Boehner: Public employees have ‘machine gun’ at heads of local officials

By David Edwards
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 12:33 EDT
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So much for toning down the violent political rhetoric in Washington.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) used gun imagery Sunday while discussing public workers’ collective bargaining rights.

“In some of these states you’ve got collective bargaining laws that are so weighted in favor of the public employees that there’s almost no bargaining,” he told CBN’s David Brody.

“We’ve given them a machine gun and put it right at the heads of the local officials and they really have their hands tied.”

Republican governors in some states have moved to force unions to pay more for benefits, and to strip them of collective bargaining rights. Thousands have recently protested union-busting bills in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

“I think what you’re seeing in these states is they’re trying to bring some balance to these negotiations that when you look at the pay of public employees today and you look at their retirement benefits they are way out of line with many other working Americans,” Boehner added.

In the wake of a mass shooting in Arizona that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the hospital, Boehner did temporarily moderate his word choice.

After the shooting, the House Speaker chose to refer to President Obama’s signature health care law as “job destroying” instead of “job killing.”

The Ohio Republican may be testing the waters for more violent words in the future.

Earlier this year, Rep. Mike Lee (R-UT) said that toning down the rhetoric means “the shooter wins.”

“What happened to Boehner here is a symptom a lot of politicians are noticing,” Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler noted. “As the weeks tick away since the Arizona shooting, they’re slipping back into modes of rhetoric they’d grown comfortable with over the last years. Of course, they’ll continually readjust and correct themselves for the next long interim, but they’re on the slow slide back to the status quo ante.”

This video is from CBN, broadcast March 1, 2011.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    Just goes to show you some of those public workers are gun toting repuggs,and I thought Boehner was all for machinegun rights.

  • http://twitter.com/Chickorie Chickorie

    Wow, old pic. How do we get it out to the majority of Americans, who don’t follow politics, that he’s is destroying jobs?

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it ironic that rich government employee’s want to take away the right’s of the middle class government employee’s!

  • Gimmie Shelter

    What an asshole Boehner is to even draw such a picture. He sure forgot his roots real quick from the days of the family bar. Maybe his weepyness is caused by the legacy remnants of the conscience he once had.

    The GOP is handing America over to the corps, for what may turn out to be it’s last and most spectacular no bid contract, after which this country can not return from, for it’s soul.

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    I’m a tax payer and the thing I hate the worst is this f’ker trying to pit the me against the public worker. I pay my taxes so they can have a decent wage and I hate the mf ‘er that thinks I’m jealous of what they make. I have the right to join a union and bygod I’m not gonna say they should not have the same rights that I have.

  • camille01

    Haven’t the billionaires had machine guns pointed at the middle class worker? They have to pay more into their pension, more into healthcare in return for the right to not fall into poverty wages. Believe me, a billionaire, such as what the Repblicans represent has a much larger machine gun than a middle class worker. Please Mr. Boehner, no tears for the billionaires.

  • Anonymous

    Wipe that Kochaine off your face, Bone Man.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_66CTHINTYLJ36RFRRWW5XUMWW4 shieldvulf

    Our “machine guns” are one another, our union brothers and sisters, whose voices raised together demand rule of, by, and FOR the people. Boehner is hostile to democracy itself, which befits a tool of oligarchy.

    Mr. Speaker, you’ll have to pry my union card from my cold, dead hands. And millions of my brethren stand ready to stop you.

  • cannotvote


  • ThorsteinVeblen2012

    Let’s see who gets machine gunned first the unions or the goons and their lackeys like Boehner.History doesn’t support his contention. History is replete with union busting goons and even the military gunning down strikers and their families. But those aren’t the stories you hear playing golf at the country club.

  • mick

    “”I think what you’re seeing in these states is they’re trying to bring some balance to these negotiations that when you look at the pay of public employees today and you look at their retirement benefits they are way out of line with many other working Americans,” Boehner added.”

    Wonder what “retirement benefits” Boehner gets !

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    “they are way out of line with many other working Americans,”

    1) that’s a lie.

    2) it’s becoming true only because “other working Americans” are being abused more and more as their Unions dissolve and their jobs move overseas.

    3) why is it a bad thing that the public have the power to defend themselves against the occasional dictator like Walker when they slip into office?

    Right-wingers.. proving over and over that they hate Democracy and the idea that “the little people” have any control of their own lives.

    Until we decide to strip the top 2% of the means of production and turn over the key parts of our society to the public, we’ll continue to be assaulted by those looking to enslave us all. …. and Yes, I’m advocating a REAL Socialism in America to save America and restore Democracy. Energy, health, food, transportation, utilities (water, etc).. these things should not be in the hands of abusive profit-mongers, they should be in the hands of the public.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GMONWJ5YEAUTI3MIRGEWG66WSE gillaroo

    Repukes wouldn’t survive in a Democracy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    right-wingers are for gun rights so long as only right-wingers are allowed to exercise those rights.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AXVN2QM7CZYMOGLUXLDM32ZJKA K

    In the past, the Owners didn’t just talk about machine guns, they used them on the workers. Mr. Bo-ner is the modern day mouthpiece of the descendants of the Owners who never got over being forced to bargain with what they once openly thought of as their literal wage-slaves.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GMONWJ5YEAUTI3MIRGEWG66WSE gillaroo

    The Boner isn’t a working American.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Machine guns.. tanks.. jet fighters.. air craft carriers.. destroyers.. nuclear subs.. sonic cannons.. tasers.. They have all kinds of things pointed at our heads.

  • Anonymous

    Boehner is displaying his ignorance of American History. He wouldn’t say something so stupid if he were aware of the violent history of labor relations in the U.S. Then again, maybe he was drunk.

  • mick

    He is in the sense that a parasite is “working” doing what a parasite does .

  • Anonymous

    Evil fuck.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    Socialist healthcare, complements of the American working stiff.

  • gypski®

    Just what the country needs an alcoholic drunken fuck for Speaker of the House so he can spout bullshit. Boehner should be under arrest for conspiracy against the United States because he’s a lackey for the corporatist lobbyist.

  • Anonymous

    Up is down, black is white. The middle class is being robbed in a 30 year class war that we are losing!

    My favorite graph in this link is “Out of Balance.”


    Maybe someone can tell me how can we have a middle class in the US without unions?

    By the way, machine gun? Really? Too inappropriate for words.

  • Anonymous

    If Unions have machine guns, the Koch brothers have Nukes.

  • Anonymous

    he’s right, his private GOVERNMENT health care and GOVERNMENT retirement benefits (along with the rest of congress) are way out of line with the public sectors and he should refuse them immediately or we should take them away!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VQWPH3VNR5NTXMH6DFPLENMXAE Dane

    Violent rhetoric?

    Once again, the right-wing is directing the country’s talking points. The focus in on unions instead of killer corporations.

    It is America’s killer corporations that are the problem. They kill livelihoods, they kill competition, they kill pensions, they slaughtered our economy, they’re leaving our government in a bloody mess, they kidnapped and raped our election process.

    We need the death penalty for the tax-dodging killer corporations. They’re getting away with murder.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think his skin is orange, more like yellow for cirrhosis.

  • SocialistCafe

    You know what that ‘machine gun’ is?

    It’s their (our) labor. If we don’t work, nothing gets done. Ever see a bunch of derivative managers or stock brokers cleaning the streets, putting out fires or emptying bedpans?

  • Anonymous

    Republicans, Corporate owned and operated.

  • Anonymous

    So Boner supports the sale of the power plants too? Not surprising.

  • Anonymous

    Does Boner not know that these are the American people, the very ones he claims to speak for? That is who the working people are. It has been too long since he was out of washington.

  • gypski®

    Don’t forget our natural resources that are still be sold under the Mining Law of 1876 @ $5.00 an acre for sale, $2.50 to lease and we are getting fucked big time by the extractors who owe us billions in royalties.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_66CTHINTYLJ36RFRRWW5XUMWW4 shieldvulf

    You clearly don’t know what the words “socialist” or “complement” mean. And many other words as well, I’m sure.

  • Anonymous

    Most of the news attention has been on Wisconsin but similar activity is going on in Ohio where the legislature just voted against collective bargaining for unions. Boehner’s buddy, former Congressman John Kasich, who is now the Ohio governor, was the man behind the Ohio’s investment in Lehman Brothers’ mortgage backed securities. Governor John Kasich, is the same John Kasich who when he worked at Lehman convinced the legislature in Ohio to invest in the mortgage-backed securities that drove their pension fund directly into the ground. And of course, in gratitude for this work, the voters of Ohio elected him governor, who else could solve the problem that he created than the man who created it. And how will Kasich do this, by blaming the problem he directly created on the government workers and other middle class workers in Ohio and screwing the workers of Ohio yet again.

    This is Republican politics as we have come to know and appreciate it!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TRCGTVH7SXIVAQMN6VHRMIG6ZM john wilson

    Would someone please aim the machine gun towards the bright orange guy!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KRXXUPUO6XQML5XRTP6QUSAWNI spinetwister88

    this cancer from ohio..any day now will put on a brown shirt..and he will welcome you to your local fema camp mein friends..we are here to help rid you of your rights as free people..

  • Anonymous

    Why is it all about violence with the Teapublicans?

    Is it true they all have tiny little Boehners?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/42THFKXIPMJHQBIH6OPI4RVIDY Thebes

    Actually Bonehead, it was a Repug official who said police should use “live ammunition” against the Union protesters.
    And its only the paramilitary government thugs with machine guns at a protest, most of the rest of us mere citizens being unable to own them.

  • dlindem

    Dry your eyes you orange bitch.

    Where’s the jobs?

  • http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/achim/gol.html Game of Life

    Out of step with the private sector? Ha! Let’s look at how the repubs screwed the private sector. The Unions are in step with other Unions.

  • Anonymous

    Which officials? Did the asshole say? The officials who shit on this country and even shit on the dumb asses who elect them? More talking points to instill fear in cowards.

  • Anonymous

    Boehner is a Republican cry baby along with Issa:

    We need to keep making these thugs look ridiculous as possible.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RT3XX4DFKZ2AD7JHO3D3PZ7G4M ChrisK

    Hey Boner eat shit and die.

  • Anonymous

    Is that what the Koch brothers told him to say also sounds like the talking points on Faux Media the Republicans sure can march to the tune of the money men can’t they. The reason the Koch brothers want the the Republicans to break the unions is it’s better for their bottom line to have a working -poor America than a middle-class America
    we need to remember who the Republicans work for and vote them out in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, Democrats don’t actually shoot anybody, it’s Right Wing loons that do. Although if it would put a stop to those who would take away the rights of the common people, I would say “fine, let that machine gun rattle away and get rid of the fat lot of you.” Yet, I’m sane. I’m a pacifist. But these people are severely testing my veracity and patience.

  • Anonymous

    Though I lean very liberal, there’s some merit in what Walker is trying to do. Unions are not a good idea for public servants. Even FDR said that. You don’t want union bosses robbing the public coffers and they’ve been doing it for years. Remember, government employees produce nothing. It’s all service work and there should be no cradle to grave benefits just because someone worked in a cush gov’t job. And, they none have a harsh work environment. It’s not like they’re coal miners, textile workers or even retail workers. Busting the unions may be a good idea.

  • Anonymous

    What do you expect from the GOP?
    G reedy
    O obnoxious
    P lutocrats

  • phillydrifter


    Collective bargaining is just that. Bohner YOU’RE IN MY SIGHTS NOW

  • Anonymous

    House and Senate Republicans have had a knife at the throat of the Middle Class for over a year now (longer, really). STAND FIRM, LABOR!

  • Anonymous

    Speaker Boehner fines lots of time to golf, entertain young woman in Hollywood while no creating jobs and working for Corporations while only working if it’s called work 3 hours 3 days with more vacations then even the President and he talks about how Unions are feeding off of taxpayers. We’ve seen new Law Makers with so much time on their hands their on every talk show and writing books for profit. Well you get what you get vote for.

  • Anonymous

    Boner is a butthead! He is so out of touch with reality between hanging with the country club set and his addled pea brain damaged by alcohol, he doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on……….not that he wants to know either! I’m really surprised he could spare the time from golf and drinking to even comment on this. Even though the demonstration in Wisconsin was the biggest since the anti war demonstrations against the Vietnam war, I’m surprised boner even knew about it. He certainly didn’t find out from msm!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PSKROFVS7E4PVTI2CEPLFWEJII John

    Yeah, working as a caseworker handling general relief, ADC, Medicaid and Nursing Home Medicare…with HUGE caseloads because states are understaffed for 25 to 30 years….is a REALLY cush government job.

    Your patronizing comment almost made me throw up there.

  • gypski®

    Did you make a typo….I would think Kochstain ejaculated on his face.

  • Anonymous

    well he is not to far off ………….THE BOeh-NER GETS LOADED EVERYDAY………………

  • Anonymous

    This speedo-clad, tanned turd has just declared WAR on the middle class.

  • Anonymous

    All I can say, Mr. Boner, is that I wish (I really do) it were true.

  • Anonymous

    “You don’t want union bosses robbing the public coffers and they’ve been doing it for years.”


    Union members pay their dues out of their own pockets.

    “there should be no cradle to grave benefits just because someone worked in a cush gov’t job”


    EVERYONE who works for a living deserves these benefits. Perhaps you find some to be “less than human”?

    “And, they none have a harsh work environment.”


    Firemen, Rescue Workers, Forest Rangers, Bridge Inspectors, all of these people have harsh and dangerous work environments.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PSKROFVS7E4PVTI2CEPLFWEJII John

    Don’t forget the people working down at the old sewer department…oh….and the guys picking up the garbage.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Boehner, grow up. Quit using gun and military arms imaging for analogies. More like Republicans are trying to put USA workers on par with third worlders living on pennies a day, barely able to eek out a living. I get so tired of hearing about putting someone “in the cross hairs”, “targeting”, and other images of violence to “win the war” on basic humanity. Far as I can tell, it’s not the union firefighters or police, teachers and trash collectors who put the county in a huge black hole, it was bankers and warmongers.