GOP Senator on Teamsters Boss: 'In Oklahoma, You Don't Do This'

Markwayne Mullin says he was showing 'Oklahoma values' in trying to fight Sean O'Brien at hearing
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2023 7:21 AM CST

A fight between the Teamsters union chief and a Republican senator almost got physical Tuesday and had to be refereed by Bernie Sanders at a Senate meeting on labor unions that "went off the rails," per the Daily Beast. After the verbal back-and-forth had ended, that GOP senator, Oklahoma's Markwayne Mullin, decided he wasn't done talking about the tussle, taking to Fox News to discuss it with Sean O'Brien. "In Oklahoma, you don't do this," Mullin told host Sean Hannity Tuesday evening. "Maybe you run your mouth in New Jersey, I don't know, I'm not from New Jersey." Mullin added that he refused to be intimidated by O'Brien, whom he referred to as a "mob boss" who wanted to "bring a mob mentality back to the Teamsters."

When Hannity noted that he thought any other reaction from Mullin, who'd stood up from his seat as if ready to fight O'Brien, would've been "gutless," Mullin concurred. "What did people want me to do?" Mullin asked, adding that he "used to get paid to fight professionally" (he's a former MMA fighter). "If I didn't do that, people in Oklahoma would be pretty upset at me. ... I'm supposed to represent Oklahoma values." Mullin concluded that "we need more of this, to be quite frank—I'm not saying more violence, but we need more people to be taught a lesson."

The senator had a similar take when he spoke on Fox's Bottom Line, whose hosts noted how "disrespectful" O'Brien had been with some of his online criticisms directed at Mullin. "I will tell you this for sure, that's not how we behave in Oklahoma, and I'm an Oklahoman first," Mullin said. "If you run your mouth, you will be called out on it." When asked if there'd been anything that people at home couldn't see during his run-in with O'Brien, Mullin answered, "The fear in his eyes when I stood up. He was scared out of his mind." O'Brien didn't directly address their bickering online, but he did like this tweet. (More Teamsters stories.)

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