If former California Gov. Jerry Brown, now once again a candidate for governor of California really wants to be sort of a unifier as he says, he might want to watch how he refers to some of his constituents.
On MSNBC's July 9 "Hardball," Brown was interviewed by host Chris Matthews and was asked how he could make all the unions in California work together in a political way. (h/t @HayleyMcConnell)
"How do you deal with the kick-butt unions out there?" Matthews said. "They're really tough. You have the correction officers, you got the police, you got the teachers, the nurses. These are tough, strong well-funded units that are politically cohesive. They took down Gov. [Arnold] Schwarzenegger when he tried to take them down. How do you make them work? How do you get them to serve the public and make reasonable compensation?"
Brown wanted to make it clear that they were "all Californians first." He defended the unions but took a shot at the Tea Party movement by using the "tea bagger" reference, which is a favorite of MSNBC personalities.
"First of all you treat them with respect," Brown replied. "You lay out your agenda, and you get everybody understanding we're Californians first. We're not Democrat or Republican or a member of this group or that group. And don't just say unions are a powerful force. Hey, you know Wall Street destroyed $11 trillion worth of wealth. That's powerful. No union could do that. Then there's the tea baggers and the Chamber of Commerce. The key to democracy is leadership what can forge the common purpose. That's what I feel my entire life has prepared me to take what I learn, work with the diversion conflicting factions and get this common pathway to the future. Seizing the assets of California, which after all is still the eighth wealthiest political entity in the world."