Fmr TSA Nominee Disputes Senator's Claim Over Unionization

In a phone interview with Fox News, Erroll Southers -- who withdrew his nomination to be the President's Transportation Security Agency (TSA) head -- denied South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint’s claim that he planned to 'force TSA workers into collective bargaining.'

Fears Southers would allow the TSA's security screeners to unionize, are what triggered Senator Jim DeMint's objections to the nomination.

"It started by asking if his priority was to force TSA workers into collective bargaining but when we didn't get a straight answer that started to concern us. Then we found out he didn't tell the committees the truth about some past problems with the FBI," said DeMint to Fox News.

Southers tells Fox News he personally told DeMint he ‘wanted the opportunity to assess the organization…to talk with TSA officers and do a cost benefit analysis’ of unionization and then make a recommendation. Southers says the decision on unionization would have been up to the President and Secretary of Homeland Security, anyway.

As for the inaccurate testimony that Southers had once (instead of twice) improperly asked for a background check on his estranged wife’s boyfriend, Southers blames  a bad memory of incidents that happened in 1987.   Southers says ‘I’m as apolitical as it gets,’ and would have gladly worked for John McCain if he’d won the 2008 election.

Wendell Goler serves as a senior White House and foreign affairs correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC), joining the network in 1996.