COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Republican presidential candidates hailed a decision Friday by the National Labor Relations Board to drop its challenge to Boeing's decision to relocate a plant to South Carolina, using it also as an opportunity to pummel President Obama for his stewardship of the labor board.
The NLRB dropped a lawsuit that claimed Boeing moved its 787 Dreamliner plant to South Carolina, which has right-to-work laws on the books, to punish striking workers in Washington State. The suit virtually became a prerequisite issue for presidential candidates to condemn while campaigning in this key primary state.
Newt Gingrich, currently leading in several polls of South Carolina Republican primary voters, condemned Obama and his “big labor allies” for staging “a political motivated assault on the rule of law.”
Providing, as he frequently does, his measure of the suit’s place in the continuum of American history, Gingrich said, “The founding fathers warned that when government grows too big the law would be usurped for political purposes. This case was an example of that.”
Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman issued similar statements, both slamming the NLRB as a “rogue agency” whose board members, appointed by President Obama, had usurped the president’s authority over labor issues.
“The fact that the Board acted at the request of the union bosses tells us all we need to know about who is calling the shots,” Romney’s statement read. “Thanks to President Obama’s appointees, the NLRB has become a rogue agency that tramples on the rights of American workers and businesses.”
Huntsman called the NLRB’s suit “a battle that should have never been fought” because the president should have called it off, but that Obama’s lack of leadership “allowed a rogue agency to threaten thousands of South Carolina jobs.”
Huntsman also praised state Attorney General Alan Wilson, who endorsed the former Utah governor in August, for opposing the NLRB’s “meritless action.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry chimed in: "The NLRB action was a political payoff for the Obama Administration's liberal big labor organizers, and remains a strong example of why President Obama must be defeated and Washington must be seriously overhauled."
The NLRB suit dropped its suit today after the union representing the striking workers approved a deal with Boeing on Wednesday to build a different type of jet in Washington State.