Ted Strickland, Ohio’s Democratic candidate for Senate, was caught on tape saying Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death “happened at a good time.” Now he’s apologizing.
Strickland, the former Governor of Ohio, faces Republican incumbent Rob Portman for the seat.
Conservative group America Rising PAC released audio from an August 8 meeting with union members.
Speaking to young members of the AFL-CIO, Strickland said that Justice Scalia’s death prevented what would have been “a terrible decision” for public sector unions. Here’s what Stickland told the crowd:
“In about three and a half months, we’ll make a decision about who occupies the executive branch, what party controls the Senate, and growing out of those two decisions will be the future of the United States Supreme Court.
And my friends, a lot of average citizens out there don’t understand the importance of that court. I mean, the death of Scalia saved labor from a terrible decision. And I don’t wish anyone ill, but it happened at a good time because once that decision had been made, it would have been tough to reverse it.”
The case Strickland referred to was a 4-4 split decision that, if Scalia was alive to rule, likely would have prevented public sector unions from collecting fees from non-union members.
On Wednesday, Strickland apologized for the comments, telling the Washington Examiner that it “was an insensitive remark.”