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Having it both ways

Monday, Jul 18, 2016

* AP

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.

* AP

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.

* OK, now let’s go back to the May 6th Chicago Tribune

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.]


* Raw video

* Also, this

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.”

* Also, too

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - AlfongoGonz - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:07 pm:

    If you are the leader of the Republican Party in Illinois, Governor, then, by all means, lead.

  2. - Honeybear - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    Leading gets in the way of victimhood.

  3. - Anon221 - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    I think Rauner has problems with “If…, then…” statements. Maybe some homework will help. /s

  4. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:18 pm:

    “The governor is clearly sending mixed messages…”

    Good ol’ Bruce — always OODA Looping.

    – MrJM

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    Gov. Rauner,

    It’s clear, in your own words in the video, you support Donald Trump.

    Just admit it publicly and be done with it…

  6. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    I was against him before I was with him. This oughta help the down ballot races in IL…

  7. - G'Kar - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    “. . .signing some of the most important legislation that got passed this spring,”

    I ask this partly in snark and partly seriously–besides the stopgap budget, what “important legislation” was passed this Spring that Rauner is willing to sign?

  8. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===I was against him before I was with him===

    Actually it was “I was with him before I was against him, and then I was with him again and now I won’t talk about him at all.”

  9. - Aldyth - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    Never let truth stand in the way of the speech you want to give.

  10. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:27 pm:

    So rather like Trump, Rauner just makes it up as he goes along.

  11. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    It might just be helpful that this is the debate that’s going on. Hmm.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    Oh - A Guy -

    You should be happy. Now you can bask in the Rauner endorsement of Trump.

    You’re for Trump, this should ease your conscious.

  13. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    “So, please. Pretty please. Answer the questions, governor.”

    He isn’t taking a salary or a pension. So, he doesn’t work for you or have to answer any of your questions.

    Alas, that is what he thinks and how he acts.

  14. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:39 pm:

    ===Actually it was “I was with him before I was against him, and then I was with him again and now I won’t talk about him at all.”====

    I like that better- definitely more precise.

  15. - Doug Simpson - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    I hope the press keeps asking him what he thinks of every thing that Trump says.

    It is driving Paul Ryan crazy!

  16. - Wensicia - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    Like with refusing to talk about sensitive social issues when he was campaigning, the governor thinks he’s absolved from issues and people that are political hot potatoes.

  17. - Wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:45 pm:

    Guy, what debate is that? The one in the governor’s head or the one in yours?

  18. - illini - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    G’Kar - maybe another piece of “important legislation” would be the bill allowing liquor/beer sales at SIU events. Surely when he is traveling the state this week he will make a stop at Carbondale1

  19. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:00 pm:

    This is a good year to sit on the fence.

  20. - Formerly Known as Frenchie M - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:04 pm:

    Rauner is — and I suspect will continue to be — impotence personified.

    The man is unable to have a backbone about anything other than bankruptcy and collective bargaining.

    Funny, though, had he actually campaigned on the stuff he cares about, he would have lost the election. Go figure.

  21. - Aldyth - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:08 pm:

    Keyser Soze

    “This is a good year to sit on the fence.”

    Depends on how the fence is constructed. Could be mighty uncomfortable and not end well.

  22. - Capitol View - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:15 pm:

    Repub Conference blowing up right now!

  23. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:20 pm:

    Sling, pick one or the other. Or even another. It’s up to you. I suspect he doesn’t care, and I know I don’t….so take your time champ.

  24. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:20 pm:

    MrJM-in this instance, it would appear that the metaphorical “looper” crashed into the ground somewhere between “orient” and “act.”

  25. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    - A Guy -

    I point to the video at the 3:12 mark to the 3:50 mark…

    Rauner, like you supports Donald Trump.

  26. - Anon2U - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:37 pm:

    I am a GOP voter and I do not care who Rauner, Oswego Willy or any talking heads support. Y’all are overthinking the importance of some people.

  27. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==- Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    - A Guy -

    I point to the video at the 3:12 mark to the 3:50 mark…

    Rauner, like you supports Donald Trump.===

    Then there’s no debate Willy. Let Rich know. You’ve solved it!!

  28. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    - A Guy -

    The debate is…

    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.

    It’s confusing.

    I thought, since you support Trump, you could help in clarifying all this…

  29. - Saluki - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:47 pm:

    Meh. Mountain out of a mole hill.

  30. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:51 pm:

    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.

    Don’t care.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:52 pm:

    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?

  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:53 pm:

    “Why the two positions?”

  33. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===Maybe it’s personal between him and you.===

    I doubt he knows me. Be shocked actually.

    You may be here, - A Guy -, but you, like the governor, support Donald Trump.

    You told me you do, and the Governor told us all in the video.

    That’s fun.

  34. - Mohammed Bashin - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:14 pm:

    Gotta admire the arrogance of the moving goal posts of Republicans!

  35. - Liberty - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:19 pm:

    It is pretty obvious Rauner doesn’t want to be seen as politically incorrect and excoriated by the news media for it.

  36. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    ===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.

    Can’t be much clearer than that.

  37. - South Central - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:43 pm:

    Keyser Size…”this is a good year to sit on the fence.”

    I think that might be an electric fence he’s attempting to sit on. Look for him to be jumpy.

  38. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:47 pm:

    When you’re a politician like Rauner, you talk out of both sides of your mouth.It’s What You Do.

  39. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 5:03 pm:

    ===When you’re a politician like _______, you talk out of both sides of your mouth====

    I think you could fill in just about any name here, don’t you Norse?

  40. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 5:12 pm:


    I thought Rauner wasn’t a politician.

    This gets weirder and weirder…

  41. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 5:14 pm:

    ===For President, I’m supporting our nominee Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Assuming they are both the nominees.

    Can’t be much clearer than that.===

    That’s great - A Guy -…

    Governor Rauner’s own words say he supports Donald Trump.

    Wonder why he just isn’t as clear?

  42. - Winnin' - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 7:33 pm:

    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.

  43. - The Fool On The Hill - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 7:43 pm:

    Tim always has his car wash to go back to.

  44. - walker - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 8:48 pm:

    Earlier this year, when asked about Rauner, Trump said “Never heard of him.” Gov’s just returning the favor.

  45. - Annonin' - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 8:57 pm:

    Guessin’ BigBrain operative Nick could not get his hands on Sheldon Adelson loot. Looks like a big booby prize

  46. - Three partys - Tuesday, Jul 19, 16 @ 1:11 am:

    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!!!!!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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