Perhaps more telling of the distance between this White House and unions, though, was how press secretary Jay Carney characterized Hoffa:
Moving quickly to distance himself and President Obama from Hoffa’s controversial comments at a Labor Day rally, Carney said that Hoffa “speaks for himself, he speaks for the labor movement, the AFL-CIO.”
Hoffa is president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which, you'll notice, Carney did not identify him with. The AFL-CIO, meanwhile, is a federation of dozens of unions, and the Teamsters are not a part of that federation. They split with the AFL-CIO in 2005, along with the SEIU and several other unions, to form Change to Win. Two of those unions have since rejoined the AFL-CIO, but the Teamsters remain part of Change to Win.
Yes, people misspeak. But this is the kind of thing that a White House press secretary ought to know, even when seeking to create distance.