Donna Dewitt, the outgoing president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, used a baseball bat to beat a pinata effigy of Republican Gov. Nikki Haley at a retreat on Saturday.
“Well I will say, she looks like a tough old girl here,” Dewitt says in a video uploaded to YouTube on Sunday. “You all ready?”
“Wait until her face comes around and then whack her,” a women advises Dewitt before she takes a swing at the pinata.
The video was shot at the South Carolina Progressive Network’s 2012 spring gathering May 19, at the CWA Hall in West Columbia, according to the Columbia Free Times. The national office of the AFL-CIO reportedly wanted to have the video taken offline, worried that it would only spur more attacks on organized labor.
Haley has been open about her dislike of unions. In her State of the Union address, Haley declared that unions “are not needed, not wanted and not welcome in the state of South Carolina.”
Dewitt told ABC News on Tuesday that she did not regret beating an effigy of Haley on video.
“We’ve been the brunt of her comments now for two years and that’s what the whole thing was. She’s been whacking at us over the last two years,” Dewitt explained. “Anyone that knows me knows there was no ill intent at all. Our folks don’t go to speeches with guns and things like that. We have very loving people in our unions who will take up money for people or a vet. We just heard these comments by the governor for over the two years. They were using a memoir of the last two years I’ve lived under her leadership.”
Haley reacted to the video on Twitter, tweeting: “Wow. I wonder if the unions think this kind of thing will make people take them seriously.”