Published September 22, 2010
The head of the Ohio Democratic Party is brushing off his description of Tea Partiers and other opponents of President Obama's health care law as "f--kers," saying he shares a penchant for blurting with Vice President Biden.
"It is what it is," Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern told Fox News regarding his Monday appearance at an endorsement event by the United Steelworkers for several Ohio Democrats, including Gov. Ted Strickland.
"Vice President Biden and I have a way with words," Redfern said, conjuring up the vice president's description this spring of the signing of the health care law as a "big f---ing deal."
He also suggested the audience could handle it.
"Look, I was speaking to 40 grizzled steelworkers," Redfern said.
Redfern said during his remarks he was lamenting "people in this state who look at health care as a privilege, not a right."
"If your kids are going to graduate from college, now he or she gets health care, your heath care, while he or she looks for a new job," Redfern reportedly said. "It's in the very base terms we win these arguments. Every time one of these f--kers says, excuse my language ..."
The comment was captured by a WTOV9 news camera, which had been invited to videotape the endorsement.
Redfern told Fox News that he thought his remarks were off-camera.
"The reporter was working her Blackberry and the photographer was standing away from his camera, but I guess it was on," he said.
Chris Littleton, the president of the Cincinnati Tea Party, responded that just because Redfern didn't know the cameras were rolling doesn't mean his point of view changes. He added that all the accusations that Tea Partiers are racist or hateful are a "projection" of opponents' own thoughts and he'd be willing to explain to Redfern why the health care law is problematic to Tea Party participants.
"These leaders and candidates can't stand on facts or logic, so they use hate and insults," Littleton said in a statement. "When you believe in principles of liberty, you don't have any reason to hate or demean. We don't need to make appeals to emotion because we can rely on history and fact."
A Fox News/Pulse Opinion Research poll released Tuesday showed Strickland six points behind former Ohio Rep. John Kasich in Strickland's re-election race. The poll, taken Sept. 18, of 1,000 likely voters, has a 3 percent margin of error.