Right-to-work vs. Big Labor: Crowder debates union supporter

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


STEVEN CROWDER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: What is it about right-to-work that you oppose so much? What is it about right to work?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What I oppose about right-to-work is because it's the freedom to freeload. They can suck all of the parasitical benefits, the hard wages that unions have negotiated and they get it for free.

CROWDER: You've already destroyed one tent. Leave the tent alone!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get the (bleep) out of my face.

CROWDER: Don't tear down the tent!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get the (bleep) out of my face.

CROWDER: You hurt a lady in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Bleep) I didn't hurt nobody. Get the (bleep) out of my face. Back the (bleep) up.

CROWDER: Don't tear down the tent.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Back the (bleep) off.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What are you going to (bleep) do?



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What are you going to (bleep) --

CROWDER: You just assaulted me, buddy.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He's got a gun!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: People don't want anybody to get hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I'll kill (bleep) with a gun! I've killed plenty (bleep) with a gun!


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Leave him alone.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." Now, if you want an insight into the ugly and twisted and dark soul of liberalism, then it's worth taking a look at the events in Michigan over the last 24 hours.

As everybody knows by now, the Republican state legislature passed and Governor Rick Snyder signed in a law a right-to-work bill -- that horror of horrors -- it bans compulsory union fees. And workers will no longer be required to pay union fees as a condition of employment.

As a result, more jobs are probably going to come to Michigan. As a result, this modest, very reasonable growth-oriented law, organized labor has gone insane and now resorted to violence, which by the way is perfectly predictable since as The National Review puts it, is so well organized, it's labor's business model to mechanically, well, identify and use extortion. It is in the nature of the extortionist trade to resort to violence when they're frustrated.

Now in just the last 24 hours for example, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder was beaten by a mob, having been punched repeatedly in the face. Protesters wielding knives brought down a tent on representatives from the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. By the way, that's the tent that was housing women and children and old people and bystanders, they were also ruffed up. And a Democratic legislature by the name of Douglas Geiss, he declared on the floor of the statehouse, there will be blood, there will be repercussions.

And then Jimmy Hoffa, the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, he said he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into, quote, "civil war."

Now, we're going to have more on these threats coming up later in the hour. So, what are we to make of all this violence, all of this ugliness?

Now, several things, point number one. What is happening in Lansing is not an isolated event. It's part of a trend, we have seen similar acts of violence happen in Madison, Wisconsin, there in response to Governor Scott Walker's lawful and correct decision to end collective bargaining in his state. A

And we saw example after example, sexual assault, rape, arson, violence, even defecating on police cars during the "Occupy Wall Street" protest. Now, the Left is becoming increasingly vicious and violent in how it conducts itself, believing they have a right to physically intimidate and even physically harm their political opponents.

Now, this is the kind of stuff you would expect to see in a banana republic, not the United States of America this.

Now, this needs to be condemn in the strongest language possible, and more importantly, the thugs committing these acts of violence, they need to be restrained, they need to be arrested. Law and order has to prevail. If it doesn't, this violence is going to spread, there will be blood in the streets and at some point, some people may in fact die. Now, that's the course we are currently on.

Now, point number two, the violence that we are seeing is, in part, a response to desperation by the labor movement. They know that the stars are now aligned against them. They know that their best days are in the past, not the future. And they know they are losing membership, influence and power, even in states that are the birth place of the labor movement. As their power recedes, their anger rises. As their anger rises, well, they are lashing out, using very dangerous rhetoric and violence to try and get their way. Now, this is not going to work.

Now, point number three, the mainstream media is once again showing an unbelievable double standard. Tonight, we are dedicating an entire segment to this.

Point number four, "president civility," President Obama, who is so quick and eager to preach to Republicans in the country and conservatives about the importance of respectful public discourse, never, ever condemns in powerful terms, the violence of the Left.

Now, to be sure, Obama thankfully doesn't condone violence. And here and there, he hints through a spokesperson that as a general matter, he doesn't like the violence. But the criticisms are as gentle as can be and never specific to groups like the labor movement, that are committing these acts of violence.

So, why doesn't the president speak out in a forceful, candid, unvarnished and a direct way so he can rein in the excesses of his own allies. In other words, the people, the groups after all that he has the most influence on. Now, that's what he should do. And it's what if he doesn't continue do to do, well, that's going to be a problem in America.

Joining me now, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder who as you know was at the Lansing rally yesterday, along with union supporter, Andy Sullivan, he is with bluecollarcorner.com. Gentlemen, welcome back to "Hannity."

CROWDER: Thank you.

HANNITY: All right. Steve, let's start with an update yesterday. Because the Left has been attacking you all day. First of all, your injuries are OK?

CROWDER: Sure. Yes. I'm fine, I am still tough enough to take the best shot that the gelatinous type of view union thug can throw at me. I'm fine. Thank you for asking.

HANNITY: OK. Now, secondly, we just saw the video, union guys, collapsing that tent. They are denying that, oh, it's not true. You were there -- the video speaks for itself --


CROWDER: Yes, I was there. Yes. Well, there is so much -- here's the thing. People can try and say, I edited the video, took it out of context. OK, what about the hours upon hours of footage from hundreds of different cameras online right now. You can Google search it and find more footage than you could watch in a lifetime. This occurred over the course of 20 or 30 minutes with hundreds of people, tearing down the tent with women in there, yelling, tear down one more tent, tear down one more tent, cussing them out, making death threats. It's all over the internet. Please, Google it! I encourage you to.

HANNITY: All right. Andy, you are saying, Steve is asking a simple question. And you see the reaction, you saw the punches. You saw the tent come down, old people in there, women in there. My question to you is, you claim he's inciting this violence.

ANDY SULLIVAN, BLUECOLLARCORNER.COM: Well, listen, first off, that tape was very well edited. I happen to have seen some footage, where it looked that he actually pushed the guy down to the ground. And that was the fellow that was actually striking him. And that's the way it looked to me. And if that was the case --

HANNITY: Wait a minute. We just showed I think the tape that you're talking about --

SULLIVAN: No, you are missing --

HANNITY: Steve --

SULLIVAN: No, you are missing a large segment that I saw in the room. And in the room I see Steve's hands --

HANNITY: Hold on a second --


CROWDER: This is character assassination and it's wong!

SULLIVAN: I saw that guy's back go down. And then he came up off his feet again --

CROWDER: He did go down!

SULLIVAN: There he is. What is that? Steve?

CROWDER: He did go down! He was attacking a tent with women and children in it!

SULLIVAN: Oh, he was attacking the tent. And what were you doing?

CROWDER: We were trying to prevent people from being hurt in the tent!

SULLIVAN: Steve, you deserved what you've got.

CROWDER: You are a liar, sir! You're being swallowed --

SULLIVAN: You deserved what you've got.

CROWDER: You unions are being swallowed. These are babies flailing before they are being put to bed. They are violent. This was not an isolated event. Look around you, man! This was the event!

SULLIVAN: Steve, you should be so proud, you know, taking pot shots at these people who are terrified about losing their jobs and livelihood.

CROWDER: You know what a pot shot is?

SULLIVAN: OK? That's what they're doing.

CROWDER: You know what a pot shot is?

SULLIVAN: These people are desperate. They are scared. And people, including the leadership, are taking advantage of them and using them. And believe me, I don't advocate any of this violence.

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Steven, you didn't push anybody. You sent me the raw tape. And I looked at it a number of times. Right? I got the unedited tape.



CROWDER: You had the unedited tape. Listen! It was a melee there. People, everyone was grabbing and pulling and trying to keep the tent from being torn dow.! OK? That was a melee. Now, listen, if I will walk up with someone, put my face in their face, and say, union sucks, nanny-nanny- bo-bo (ph), that still doesn't merit for shots to the face. As far as people being afraid, these union thugs being afraid. You know what? They should be afraid. And they should be afraid, because the unions threaten their own job security. You look at the manufacturing jobs in the United States, the single greatest threat to your job security, your job being shipped overseas or your company being shut down, as if you are in a union that burdens this company with costs that they can't bear!

SULLIVAN: Hey, Steven, you know what? I don't need to be schooled by you. OK? I've been in this business quite a long time --

CROWDER: Well, you just were! You just were!

SULLIVAN: No I wasn't pal. First of all. Let me explain something to you about unions, OK? Including the studio I am sitting in right now, I built. OK, my friend? And everything from the financial center up to Yankee Stadium --


CROWDER: Congratulations.

SULLIVAN: Has been built by union labor. So, stop demonizing them, they're not the ones who should be stigmatized --

CROWDER: They were built by Americans.

SULLIVAN: -- and demonized. OK. The people who are causing this labor dispute is the leadership. And of course, at the end of it, it's the government.

CROWDER: It's the people of Michigan!

HANNITY: All right. Let me go to this specific issue --

CROWDER: It's the people of Michigan!

HANNITY: But let me go to this specific issue. Because you are one of the few union people that actually criticize leadership -- wait a minute. I agree with you. But here's the question. They are force -- you can't work at a company unless you join the union that you don't want to join, pay dues you don't want to pay and they take the leadership -- takes money and donates to political parties you don't want to donate to. What's wrong with the right-to-work? Why would you be against freedom of choice?

SULLIVAN: I think that's a little too extreme, the right-to-work, as far as altering. You know what I would be for? I think the way the unions are set up right now is almost like a dictatorship. It's a single-party rule. And I think right now, the GOP is missing out on a golden opportunity. I wish somebody from the Republican Party would reach out to unions and have a competing party to advocate representation -- I mean, just think about it.

HANNITY: You're one of the few union guys I've heard take on leadership. Because what they do to rank-and-file money, what they do with rank-and-file money is unconscionable.

SULLIVAN: I concur.

HANNITY: Wow. Steve, we'll give you the last word?

CROWDER: OK. Listen. Unions have become parasites in this country who eat their hosts alive. You look at GM, they looked for a new host-- the taxpayer. Right now in Michigan, these parasites are looking for a new host and that is forcing Michigan citizens who do not want them there to be pressed into unions that they don't want to join.

SULLIVAN: Stop blaming the rank-and-file union member. They are not the ones that are causing this. It's the leadership.

CROWDER: Yes, they are.

HANNITY: But some of them did attack Steven.

SULLIVAN: After Steven had his hands on his back and the guy got up not knowing who hit him --

CROWDER: They pulled down a tent with women and children! It's not me! It's hundreds of people who were in a tent! Come on, man! Let's be honest!

SULLIVAN: I know, there were flame throwers and cancer patients everywhere. Get a little more dramatic.

CROWDER: Yes, that's great.

HANNITY: We've got a break. Thank you both for being with us.

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