Hoffa: Blue Dogs 'making a big mistake' on healthcare

Centrist Blue Dog Democrats are "making a big mistake" by not backing President Obama's healthcare reforms, Teamsters President James P. Hoffa threatened Wednesday.

"They're a whole new phenomenon," Hoffa said of the centrist Democrats who have been reluctant to back a healthcare bill containing certain taxes and a public (or "government-run") option for consumers.

"A lot of these people we supported, and I think they're making a big mistake by not supporting the president," Hoffa added during an appearance on the liberal Bill Press radio show.

Hoffa's words come after the likely incoming president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, told the Huffington Post that his union may sit out campaigns in which lawmakers broke from the organization.

Hoffa said that the Blue Dogs certainly weren't aiding Obama's efforts to pass health reform.

"The president needs every Democratic vote, whether it's in the House or the Senate," he said. "The fact that they're basically chopping up the bill certainly doesn't help him."

The son of the legendary union leader Jimmy Hoffa also said that the bruising healthcare battle might have taught the president a lesson or two.

"I think he's really learning a lesson about how divided this town is," he said. "I think he came here he had the idea that he could charm everybody."

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