* Steve Chapman complains about Bruce Rauner’s performance in yesterday’s Tribune editorial board meeting…
After promising big spending cuts through pension reform, he was asked how much his plan would save in the first year or two, and he couldn’t give even a rough number. If he had been in the Senate when Gov. Quinn proposed $1.3 billion in spending cuts, which required closing dozens of state prisons and mental health facilites, would he have voted for them? He refused to give a “yes” or a “no.”
Would he revoke the expansion of Medicaid the state undertook last year, as encouraged by the federal health care reform? “We have a Medicaid disaster,” Rauner replied, while declining to say he’d cancel this enlargement. Repeal same-sex marriage? He’d submit that to a voter referendum, and what he’d prefer is “not important.”
I’d like to think that if he became governor, Rauner would be fearless in tackling the state’s pressing problems. But on some of the toughest issues before us, he’s AWOL.
Except for that goofy minimum wage stumble, this is a guy who has mostly kept his eye on the fall election. Yes, he has to evade some things to avoid angering the GOP base, and he’s made his share of errors, but he is more focused on November than any of his Republican opponents, including…
*** UPDATE *** Full quote…
“The number one issue I run into when I travel around to manufacturing plants particularly, when I ask them, ‘How’s it going?’ They say, ‘I can’t hire my people back.’ They say, ‘They’re enjoying — I’ll use — their unemployment insurance. And I can’t get them back to work.’ So we’ve gotta motivate people to get back into the workforce.”
In a phone interview after the debate, Brady would not say which manufacturers have said people enjoy their unemployment benefits and are not motivated to return to work.
Rutherford, in responding to the unemployment question at the debate, related the problem to Chicago’s gun violence. Dillard was cut off for time purposes without answering the question.