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Cross harshly criticizes own party

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* From Bernie’s latest column about Rep. Tom Cross

“I think we have to be cognizant of the fact that we got our clocks cleaned in the last … presidential race,” he said, “and we have done, I think, a very miserable job of reaching out to young people. I think we scare women. I think we sometimes scare men. And I think we need to be cognizant of that as a party.

“And I think we’ve done a pretty lousy job on outreach to minorities,” he added. “In the last presidential race, Hispanic, Latino, voters went 80-20 against us. … We need to learn from all of it.”

Cross is running in the primary for treasurer against DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogran. Grogan opposes same-sex marriage, but Cross voted for it when it passed in the fall.

“It was the right thing to do,” Cross said. “You have a different role in life when you’re not the House Republican leader.” He had earlier opposed legalizing gay marriage.

“Personal decisions are important to people,” he said last week, “and I’m an advocate for that and will continue to be.”


…Adding… From a Daily Herald story about a weekend Indian-American candidates’ forum

“We see the best and brightest students come to the United States for a college education and then go back home,” said community member Amol Shelat. “There is a perception among Indian Americans that Republicans are anti-immigration, so why should we vote for your party?”

Rutherford contended that the problem is more of perception than reality.

“The Republican Party has a brand problem right now from the national scene. It is perceived to be intolerant,” Rutherford said.

“We need to have a reasonable Republican, one that understands that there are people from different backgrounds who make up our state.”

Dillard said he voted for the Illinois version of the DREAM Act and would be welcoming to immigrants.

Brady said it actually the Democratic Party that is labeling Republicans as anti-immigration.

“We want to keep the doors open. For national security reasons we need to protect our country’s borders, but this state’s strength lies in immigration,” Brady said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Spliff - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    And as a leader in that party for years he did what to change that?

  2. - shore - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    This guy’s had a shot to do something about the party for years and come up woefully short when other republicans around the country have done more with less. No thanks.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Right message. Wrong messenger.

    Just when I want to give Cross a “nod”, he blames the Party, when Cross was the leader of a Caucus that got its clock cleaned, in part, because “Two Putt” felt the need to golf on Election Day when the Map was going to be decided, by the governor that would be elected.

    The golfing on Election Day is the best way to look at all this “criticism” by Tom “Two-Putt” Cross, and the Dopes who allowed Cross for 10 years to ruin any chance at Electoral success, with loses after loses.

    Thank goodness the HGOP has Leader Durkin, and these Dopey quotes reinforce why “Two-Putt” had to GO!


  4. - walker - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:53 am:



    and True

  5. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    There’s only so much Cross can do as House GOP leader to change the hearts and minds of the members of his caucus without causing fractures and potential deposition, but isn’t helping persuade ‘elite’ opinion just as necessary as the vague ‘we should do better’ talk of Cross? And how does Cross propose to reach out to minority communities, particularly on what are “fiscal” issues to some, but matters of life and death to others (i.e. Medicaid)? Is it a matter of language or policy? This is something Cross’s comments didn’t confront, but it is worth pursuing answers from him on such points. Nevertheless, I’ve got to applaud Cross for at least talking the talk and in frank terms at that.

    As for Bill Brady and reproductive rights issues in Bernie’s article, he claims he won’t allow people to use scare tactics against him if he is the nominee again, but the fact of the matter is that his positions haven’t changed.

  6. - Bill - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    And there is this type of opinion, too, and the accompanying theory of the basic sociopathy of the Republican Party.

  7. - A guy... - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    It’s like looking at a “home movie” of yourself and being critical of the main character. Odd.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    I agree with Cross. What do the Republicans stand for? Raising the minimum wage: no. Legalizing same sex marriage: no. Using government to help ease income inequality: no. Expanding universal background checks on firearms purchases: no. Tax fairness: no.

    All of these issues are popular, at least nationally.

    Yes, Republicans, majorities of Democrats and independents want the guv’mint to help ease income inequality.

    For every Republican like Cross, there are others who want to impeach the president, purge gays from the GOP, say Democrats get women addicted to birth control, etc. Now if Rauner gets the nomination, that’s another super-rich guy who wants to fix the state on the backs of thousands of middle class workers.

  9. - David Ormsby - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    –Brady said it actually the Democratic Party that is labeling Republicans as anti-immigration.–

    The GOP has admirably cultivated an anti-immigrant image without any help from the Democrats.

  10. - Frustrated Voter - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    Cross really is a joke at this point. He may end up winning the primary, but his campaign and messaging have been pretty shameless. He took the party from a minority to a super-minority under his leadership, was a complete failure as a leader, voted for the runaway spending, opposed gay marriage and concealed carry, and then flipped on both issues when it became politically convenient.

    Bob Grogan may not have any money, but he’s working his tail off around the state, getting endorsements pretty much everywhere he goes, he has relevant experience to being a treasurer (CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner), seems to have done a great job as the DuPage Auditor and isn’t making campaign promises related to things the Treasurer’s office has no control over (ala Cross).

  11. - Wensicia - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    “You have a different role in life when you’re not the House Republican leader.”

    That’s the problem within your party. You didn’t lead, you followed. A leader who can’t stand up for what he feels is right is impotent.

  12. - Almost the Weekend - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    Frustrated Voter,

    In case you didn’t know, nobody is an independent/uninformed voter on here. 90% of commentators already have their minds made up. I’m sure Grogan is working his tail off, but the fact he has no money to get on TV to talk about his qualifications and policies.

    In regards to what Cross said he knows in a blue state he can’t win even if he gets 100% of GOP vote in Illinois. He needs to win independents and some democrats. It’s not a bad strategy to start playing the moderate, while Frerichs tweets out every liberal endorsement through social media. It’s going to be interesting to see Cross on the statewide slate. I agree he didn’t do anything positive for the GOP house, but this is a different animal.

  13. - MrJM - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    “The Republican Party has a brand problem right now from the national scene. It is perceived to be intolerant.”

    Yes. And water is perceived to be wet.

    – MrJM

  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    The national GOP agenda is set by Rush, Sean, Roger and that ilk.

    The problem is, those dudes are in it to make money by appealing to the fears of 30% of the population.

    Can’t build a national party that way.

  15. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    “You have a different role in life when you’re not the House Republican leader.”

    As in, your conscious matters when you’re not leading other Republicans? Interesting take.

  16. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    Oops - conscience, not conscious

  17. - DuPage Moderate - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    Slam Cross all you want…but he’s right. Oswego Willy, you know Illinois Republican politics well enough to know that even if Cross had these feelings for years, that he couldn’t have made any changes in the Republican platform. All he would have done is lost his job. (Which isn’t a valid excuse in my opinion - but it’s true).

    And Grogan has been doing a great job? You have to be kidding me.

    I’ll bow back out for now and watch the Republicans cannibalize themselves.

  18. - Pat C - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    We see the best and brightest students come to the United States for a college education and then go back home,

    And we see large numbers of people with Engineering and IT degrees laid off, and then those jobs done by H1-B firms who hire those.

    So, it’s not anti- US born to oppose that?

    I can NAME NAMES of people who were laid off, and their jobs done by visa holders.

    Does that make me anti-immigrant? Or Pro-USA people keeping their jobs.
    I let them label me, and I will not let that happen this time

    Lets see if he runs any ads with photos from Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s clinic saying “XX opposes laws that would have made this place shut down”.

    Sanitary conditions, waived apparently……

  19. - CicrcularFiringSquad - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    Good to see “Billboards” Cross back on the blog. Dopey comment, but good to see him back. BTW Billboards it is the hate speech from funders like WhackyJackRoeser et al that lead the party and none of that has changed. The only temporary change is they are currently spending their money on Mitt Rauner right now….but that could change if he starts rolling back downhill.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    ===…even if Cross had these feelings for years, that he couldn’t have made any changes in the Republican platform.===

    Here is the reality; Had Brady won in 2010, the Map, the discussions, the way 2012 in the state legislative races,… all of that comes into play with a 2010 Brady win.

    The rest is just Folly. There was no Ground Game in 2010 to offset Pat Quinn taking on and defeating the largest GOP surge in decades. “Two-Putt” Cross is one who is directly to blame.

    I hear ya, but it was never about ideology when 4 votes a precinct in Cook and Chicago, during the biggest GOP wave in decades could have made all this far different than it is today.

  21. - Joan P. - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    “You have a different role in life when you’re not the House Republican leader.”

    Silly me. I thought the job of a leader was to LEAD.

  22. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    Gee. When I hear pols–especially those who are running for office “criticizing” their party and calling their party “intolerant,” I assume that they’re talking about people who identify as Rs, lifelong Rs, like I am.

    My mind was made up about one race quite some time ago. I think I’m now pretty sure about how I’m going to vote in the other, too.

  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    Oh, and BTW, I am a naturalized Illinoisan-American who was not born in either country of my parents’ birth, but who speaks all applicable languages (though to varying degrees of fluency) AND continues to enjoy many of the cultural aspects that my parents enjoyed…here, in the US, also as Illinoisan-Americans.

  24. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    Sorry that obviously should have read “and continues to enjoy many of the cultural aspects *of our originating nations* that my parents enjoyed….”

  25. - steve schnorf - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 5:24 pm:

    I just can’t help myself on this one. “and scrawled on the bathroom mirror in bright red lipstick, ’stop me before I kill again’”

  26. - Wordslinger - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 6:20 pm:

    Schnorf, please don’t hesitate. You need to be heard!

    This state and this country needs our old Main Street GOP. The old racist Dixiecrats running the show now are bad news.

  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 8:42 am:

    Where does it say in the Constitution or Bill of Rights that Americans are all entitled to enjoy “income equality?” This junk was tired rhetoric when Huey Long was pushing it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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