DeMint: Daley should take White House leave over Boeing lawsuit

White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley should take a leave of absence from the White House if the National Labor Relations Board's allegations against Boeing are true, Sen. Jim DeMint said Thursday.

The NLRB is suing Boeing for allegedly retaliating against strikes at a unionized plant in Washington state by opening a new facility to build 787 airplanes in South Carolina.

DeMint (R-S.C.) called the lawsuit "anti-American and anti-democratic," pointing out that Daley was on Boeing's board of directors when the decision was made to place the new plant in South Carolina.

"If the president really believes Boeing broke the law as is contended by the National Labor Relations Board, he should ask his chief of staff [Bill] Daley to take a leave of absence," DeMint said Thursday on a conference call with reporters, organized by the right-leaning Workforce Fairness Institute.

"The president has since appointed the president of Boeing as his chairman of the Export Commission," DeMint continued. "If he thinks Boeing has broken the law, he needs to make some changes."

DeMint added that he was "having trouble raising my level of rhetoric to match the absurdity of what's going on" with the Boeing lawsuit, which conservatives have argued shows President Obama is beholden to labor unions.

The lawsuit has infuriated South Carolina Republicans and GOP presidential candidates hoping to curry favor in the early primary state in 2012. The White House has said the president will not comment on the lawsuit because the NLRB is an "independent agency."