Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, whose state Legislature is among those debating restrictions on collective bargaining, called public employee unions "the privileged elite" during a speech in Ohio.
Daniels spoke Wednesday at the Hamilton County Republican Party's annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner. He said "there may have been a time when government employees needed protection and needed reform, but that was a long time ago."
He says that "public jobs grew while private jobs were lost, public salaries went up, while private sector salaries are shrinking," and added that "it's time to interrupt that loop in the public interest."
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Daniels' comments on unions got strong applause.
Daniels ordered the end of Indiana's state employees collective bargaining rights when he took office.