When the Republican Party launches its quadrennial celebration in Cleveland this week to anoint its nominee for president, some prominent party faithful from Illinois won’t be there.
First-term U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is out-front with his reason — he doesn’t like the presumptive nominee, businessman Donald Trump, calling him “too bigoted and racist” for the job.
But other top leaders, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, are joining Republicans from around the country in ditching the convention without saying why. Many face tough re-election races in November and are trying to distance themselves from the contentious name at the top of the ticket.
“I will be traveling the state of Illinois, meeting with community leaders, business leaders and some legislators and signing some of the most important legislation that got passed this spring,” Rauner said last week after declining to answer reporters’ questions about the convention or the presidential race, in general.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation banning the sale of synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” in Illinois. […]
The Republican governor signed the bill on the same day the Republican National Convention began in Cleveland. Rauner said last week he is not attending the convention because he is traveling the state signing bills that lawmakers passed this year.
Gov. Bruce Rauner won’t attend the Republican National Convention or formally endorse Donald Trump for president as fallout from the controversial presumptive nominee reverberates throughout the Illinois GOP.
Aides to the first-term Republican governor said Rauner, who declined to back a candidate in what was once a crowded GOP presidential field, would remain focused on Illinois’ troubled finances. […]
Rauner repeatedly had sought to stay out of the presidential race, though he did say that as leader of the GOP in Illinois, he would back the eventual nominee. But Rauner aides stressed there are various levels of “support,” and that the governor would not be giving Trump a formal endorsement.
That story was published after a March statement by the governor that he would “do everything he can” to support the Republican Party’s nominee. Asked why, the governor said it’s because “I’m the leader of the Republican Party in Illinois.”
As a liberal group called Illinois Working Together correctly noted in a press release today, Rauner has “never clarified his ‘levels of support’ idea or indicated at which level he supported Trump.”
* IWT also pointed out that a couple weeks or so after saying he wouldn’t go to the national convention, and when it was abundantly clear that Donald Trump would be his party’s nominee, Gov. Rauner had this to say to the Illinois Republican Party convention…
“Republicans are gonna control our federal government in every office, in every office… Now is the time to come together, now is the time to unite, up and down the ticket… What we can’t do is have Hillary get in the White House. No way Hillary’s getting into the White House. No way, no way… This is the year we take back the White House.” [Emphasis added.]
The head of Illinois’ Republican Party sought to downplay any division that might exist among the rank and file over the nomination of Donald Trump.
Chairman Tim Schneider riled up the crowd of Illinois delegates at a delegation breakfast Monday morning in Cleveland, vowing that Illinois would work to elect Donald Trump in November, and that, counter to reports of division among the ranks, the state is “in lockstep” with Trump.
Schneider may be the “head,” but Rauner has claimed to be the “leader.”
Pence’s vice presidential race is headed by the same operative, Nick Ayers, who ran Rauner’s 2014 race for governor. Ayers described himself to me in a telephone call last year as a key player in Rauner’s campaign—the guy who drafted the campaign plan, hired staff, and handled media buying. He said, “I was the one who on election night [November 4, 2014] called [Rauner] and Diana in their hotel suite and told them we had won. I gave them the news before the AP called it.”
The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the Trump campaign is allowing Pence to select his own people and that Nick Ayers is heading Pence’s “own team of professional operatives.”
* The governor is clearly sending mixed messages, refusing all recent attempts by reporters to try and get him to clarify where he stands on Trump, while skipping a national convention where his party chairman declares the ILGOP is “in lockstep” with the candidate.
So, please. Pretty please. Answer the questions, governor.
Why o why is Gov. Rauner deciding to be so passionate to support Donald Trump at the state convention, but is hiding behind bill signings instead of backing Donald Trump as has makes clear in the video?
Heck, Gov. Rauner should embrace his own words, he is the leader of the ILGOP and wants Trump to win.
I thought, since you support Trump, you could help in clarifying all this…
Hey Willy, I’m not in Cleveland either. I’m here rapping with you. The Governor doesn’t want to discuss it. He’s pledged to helping out Kirk. I just saw that Kasich is coming to support Rauner and support Kirk on the other thread.
Maybe the Governor is being coy because he knows it drives you nuts. Maybe it’s personal between him and you. Don’t know.
I have just one more question before the video starts at the 3:12 remark of Governor Rauner’s remarks…
If Rauner gave a quote that he was supporting all the federal Republican candidates and Rauner wants all the federal Republicans to win, and Rauner’s quotes are always to be taken as true, then why would Rauner not be supporting Donald Trump? Why would it be necessary for Rauner to distance himself from the quotes that support Donald Trump?
===You told me you do, and the Governor told us all in the video.===
OK. If people in precincts want a sign…I’ll get ‘em one if I can. If there’s lit, it will get into the envelope. Far more of my support is going for local candidates for House and Senate in Illinois and a US Rep.
For President, I’m supporting our nominee Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Assuming they are both the nominees.
During the 2014 election, didn’t Rauner say he spent a lot of time in Indiana, learning the ways of a successful state?
He was perched at the doorstep of Pence and even brought his General Counsel from Indiana.
With both Trump and Pence, he is a faker.
- The Fool On The Hill - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 7:43 pm:
In Illinois we have the Madigan/Democratic party, the Rauner party and the Republican party. I guess we have a small LOST party of Kirk! It appears to me unless the party leader is going to get something or is part of the game, they don’t support you. I own the ball, we play by my rules or I take the ball home. The people want a change in the whole country and they could care less who owns the ball. They want a change from the Mayors up to the President. The elected politicians may think they are in charge, but might get an eye opener in November!!!!!