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Rauner compares Statehouse battle to “trench warfare,” says he’s “energized” and “we’re winning”

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017

* Steve Hoffman at the Piatt County Journal-Republican

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner promised voters after being elected in 2014 that he was in for the long haul in regards to government reform, and he reaffirmed it at the Piatt County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner on March 21 in Monticello.

“I’m very energized by the battle,” Rauner said of the disagreements over proposals that range from a real estate property tax freeze to pension reform; issues that have led to legislative gridlock when it comes to approving a state budget.

“It’s really hard, but you know, we’re making progress and we’re going to change our state dramatically, so that the government works for you, the people of Illinois, not for a corrupt political machine out of Chicago,” he added in a 10-minute speech at the annual dinner.

He pointed to progress made in cutting $800 million in state spending, upgrading computer systems to make state offices more efficient, ethics reform in state hiring and proposed union reform, which he discussed at the Monticello gathering.

* I called Steve and asked if he’d share his audio recording. Many thanks for sending it over.

As you can tell by the story above, much of what the governor said has been said many, many times before, but I did find this passage a bit interesting

So, we’re making the changes we need. It’s too slow. It’s trench warfare, basically. Battle here, gain two feet, lose a foot, gain five feet, lose two feet. I mean, it’s a tough battle.

But, we’re winning and we’re going to transform the state.

* If you’ve never listened to a Rauner campaign speech, or haven’t in a while, here’s the raw audio

- Posted by Rich Miller        

74 Comments
  1. - Boone's is back - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    Starting to sound like RRB more and more each dayt. You’re delusional Gov’, and no one cares about you “winning” or not. The state is losing and continues to do so with you at the helm.


  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    Those who engage in trench warfare have no problems with overwhelming casualties.

    Governing the state shouldn’t be trench warfare. He made it so because he wanted the casualties.

    Says something about him.


  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    Real winning will be when goursuch gets seated to the supreme Court and we’ll finally get the sequel to Harris vs Quinn


  4. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:27 pm:

    Rauner was elected in 2016???


  5. - Mason born - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Can someone explain to the Gov that Trench warfare was a horrendous exercise in futility that resulted in prosperity solely for the Grim Reaper. Christ that statement is dumb.


  6. - Well you know - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    State workers should not be victims, POW’s , or casualties in this ridiculous charade that he calls “trench warfare” Has the Carhartt guy ever served in the military??


  7. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    Sickening


  8. - Rabid - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    The govenor elected in 2016? Mandela effect?


  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Social Services are closing, Social Services like Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are being drained by a governor refusing to pay what is owed..

    ===So, we’re making the changes we need. It’s too slow. It’s trench warfare, basically. Battle here, gain two feet, lose a foot, gain five feet, lose two feet. I mean, it’s a tough battle.

    But, we’re winning and we’re going to transform the state===

    The U of I System is $750+ million, and growing ever closer towards a billion dollars as the days pass. Eastern Illinois wrote a letter they’d stay open for a year. “Don’t worry”. Chicago State is falling upon itself, Western Illinois could face accrediting issues without funding?

    Governor Rauner?

    ===So, we’re making the changes we need. It’s too slow. It’s trench warfare, basically. Battle here, gain two feet, lose a foot, gain five feet, lose two feet. I mean, it’s a tough battle.

    But, we’re winning and we’re going to transform the state===

    The backlog of debt in Illinois, growing with a possible projection of the war continues to $24 billion.

    Governor Rauner?

    ===So, we’re making the changes we need. It’s too slow. It’s trench warfare, basically. Battle here, gain two feet, lose a foot, gain five feet, lose two feet. I mean, it’s a tough battle.

    But, we’re winning and we’re going to transform the state===

    Am I surprised? No. Are you?

    Rauner’s own words… 2012…

    ===“In Illinois there’s been a long-time history of what I would call social service, social justice, a bigger role for government in the safety net than in many other states,” Rauner said at a tax policy conference sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute. “I think we can drive a wedge issue in the Democratic Party on that topic and bring the folks who say, ‘You know what? For our tax dollars, I’d rather help the disadvantaged, the handicapped, the elderly, the children in poverty. I’d rather have my tax dollars going to that than the SEIU or Af-scammy (AFSCME), who are out there for their own interests.’”===

    Bruce thinks he’s winning.

    Diana Rauner, a social service administrator, put her name to millions of dollars to push this plan… we see today. A business decision, I’m sure.

    And Bruce Rauner says he’s winning.

    Ask Bruce Rauner, he’s winning.

    The destruction ain’t the bug, it’s a feature if the goal can’t be achieved.


  10. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    He’s winning like Charlie Sheen was winning.


  11. - Out Here In The Middle - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    I don’t know if you are winning or not, Governor. All I know is that the rest of us are all losing. $2 million a day . . . .


  12. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    The mother of that 15 month old who is dependent on oxygen probably doesn’t think whether or not he is winning should be the point.


  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    People who focus solely on typos are the lowest sorts of commenters, unless they’re trying to be helpful.

    You’re not superior to that reporter just because you didn’t mistype a date.


  14. - @Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    Hear! Hear!


  15. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    Gawd. No heart or conscience. At all. What a terrible, thoughtless analogy. And I bet Rauner thinks he’s being macho.

    Military tacticians and historians all agree: trench warfare was the stupidest, costliest, most futile military tactic ever employed. To this day, France has a government agency whose one function is disposing of the tons of ordinance that still gets regularly unearthed. Oh yeah, and bodies.

    In that light, your heartless analogy is apt, Gov. Gaslight: it will take Illinois decades to recover from your wanton and even suicidal destruction.


  16. - slow down - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    Apparently Rauner defines “winning” much the same way Trump does. Sadly, it has no connection to the very harsh reality faced by the state’s most vulnerable who have been devastated by this man’s reign.


  17. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    ===People who focus solely on typos are the lowest sorts of commenters, unless they’re trying to be helpful.===

    I agree. But I believe the governor said, “We’re whining!” not “We’re winning!” /s


  18. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    The second comment labeled from me is not me.


  19. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    Oops! sorry, didn’t catch the @ sign in the commenters handle.


  20. - Ole' Nelson - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:48 pm:

    Like many wars of the past, the Governor and his wealthy friends will be orchestrating the devastation from the “safe zones” while the casualties are occurring in the commoners.

    What a hero.


  21. - Earnest - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    I don’t know. I think Rauner should consider sitting out the 2018 election and waiting for 2022. He has some good ideas on how to improve the state but I don’t think he has the stomach for getting things stabilized.

    If he sits out and lets another governor sign the unpopular tax increases and budget cuts to stabilize the budget things will be ripe for change at that time.

    You can’t really do a lot to improve the health of a patient if you don’t first stop the bleeding.


  22. - old pol - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    To continue with the military metaphor, the current fight is a lot like the siege of a Madigan fortress. If you can’t take the fortress by force, then you have to wait the occupiers out. Whomever can last the longest “wins”. To be sure, there will be suffering on both sides, but what’s the alternative? The occupiers refuse to share power and the army laying siege has more resources and believes they can outlast their opponent. The commoners will always suffer in these types of battles.


  23. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    “So, we’re making the changes we need. It’s too slow. It’s trench warfare, basically. Battle here, gain two feet, lose a foot, gain five feet, lose two feet. I mean, it’s a tough battle.”

    Rauner started it by bringing the proverbial sledgehammer and attempting to smash enemies he created. What did he think would happen, that people would just roll over for him when he’s trying to strip their rights and force them to bear a very disproportionate share of sacrifice to fix the state?

    That’s the problem with this type of CEO in government, that he acts like he owns the place and can push people around.


  24. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    If this is “winning” I would hate to see what losing looks like.


  25. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    Actually I meant to be helpful. I wasn’t sure if in a speech Rauner himself said he was elected in 2016 or if he meant the 2016 elections, or if it was just a typo. I should have clarified was being lazy. My apologies.


  26. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    It is time for the Illinois republican party to get out of the rauner trench before it is too late!


  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    Rauner and Charlie Sheen. Winning!!!!

    https://youtu.be/pipTwjwrQYQ


  28. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMawlzqJHg8


  29. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    I’m so happy to know that not only am I a pawn in his chess game with Madigan, I’m cannon fodder too. Thanks Rauner! /snark


  30. - kitty - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    The deliberate destruction of social service agencies and higher education for an agenda for which there is no mandate isn’t winning, its unconscionable. Rauner is worse than heartless.


  31. - best bet - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    IL can only hope the Dems organize behind 1 candidate early instead of splitting the vote (like it did w/ Clinton & Sanders).


  32. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    This is as delusional as those campaign ads. Maybe he has some sort of dissociative disorder that makes him think he’s not actually the governor. Otherwise it’s just weird they think they can act as if the last 2+ years didn’t exist. Bruce, you’re in charge of the government you condemn. Start acting like it.


  33. - Shark Sandwich - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:19 pm:

    He might be closer to right than we like to admit. Both WWI and the state’s current crisis had a stranger than fiction chain of events initiated (in part) by an overzealous Serb…


  34. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    The pointless and barbaric carnage of trench warfare is an apt metaphor for what Rauner has engineered. Curious aspiration for a governor to have.

    Like the butchers of WWI, Rauner’s not in the trenches. He’s far behind the lines, directing the slaughter, with no reasonable gain or resolution in sight.

    He’s creating a new Lost Generation.


  35. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:29 pm:

    He does a disservice to both trench warfare and governing when he compares them.


  36. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    The irony is very thick when you consider the stronghold Rauner has on the republican legislature as he rails against the control that Madigan and Cullerton have on Dems. Rauner has


  37. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:32 pm:

    No one wins in war, there are only losers that have varying degrees of loss.


  38. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:32 pm:

    continued from my post above.
    purchased the republican house and senate.


  39. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:35 pm:

    =Those who engage in trench warfare have no problems with overwhelming casualties.

    Governing the state shouldn’t be trench warfare. He made it so because he wanted the casualties.

    Says something about him.=

    Man, this is really spot on, top shelf commentary and others have hit on it as well.

    Rauner sees himself as the aristocracy sending the rest of us “over the top” for his “winning”.

    @Michelle Flaherty- you keep raising your own very high bar, great comment.


  40. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    trench warfare was rendered obsolete because of technology. In WWII tanks and airplanes made the trenches of little to no use. So just as technology brought about trench warfare (guns became accurate and men needed to protect themselves in trenches so did technology (airplanes and tanks) make them obsolete. Analogist to this is that fact that it is Rauner who brought about the trench warfare and it will be his removal from office that will make it once again obsolete.


  41. - Valvino - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    I don’t know who is more delerious at this point, Trump or Rauner?


  42. - Chicago 20 - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    Rauner now fancies himself a doughboy while dressed as Woody from Toy Story.

    Here is a reality check for Bruce.
    Rauner and Trump currently have approval ratings of 36%.
    Do your job.


  43. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:53 pm:

    Deeply offensive. I’m one who has been put behind the 8-ball financially by Rauner and don’t appreciate being compared to a WWI corpse.


  44. - G'Kar - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    To extend the trench warfare analogy further: The colleges and universities and the social agencies are like the cities of Ypers, Arras, Saint-Quentin, and others that were flatten by the fighting and took decades to recover.

    The winners in trench warfare were not the armies or the nations, it was big business who made fortunes supplying both sides and thus the widespread slaughter and devastation. In this analogy, Rauner and the business interests he supports are “winning.”


  45. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:06 pm:

    The moral destitution necessary to say something like this is astounding. It’s like saying we’re winning after nuclear warheads are exchanged.

    Malum in se

    People are not fodder for your Gallipoli

    How repugnant.


  46. - Negative ads everyone hates but they work - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:17 pm:

    Trench warfare can only be won by those that are willing to endure more casualties than their opponent. Mr Governor the casualties you are creating in these trenches are the poor and middle class and will never benefit from you agenda. You sir are sending them to slaughter while you reap ill gotten gains. Have mercy on your soul


  47. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    Wm Butler Yeates wrote ‘The Second Coming’ in 1919 in the aftermath of the first World War’s wasteful trench warfare bloodbath.

    Sadly, much of it rings true for Illinois today.

    THE SECOND COMING

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    – MrJM


  48. - Flynn's mom - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    He’s losing the battle and the war. It’s time for the white flag Rauner.


  49. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    Plus the workers who serve those people.

    Trench warfare can only be won by those that are willing to endure more casualties than their opponent. Mr Governor the casualties you are creating in these trenches are the poor and middle class and will never benefit from you agenda. You sir are sending them to slaughter while you reap ill gotten gains. Have mercy on your soul


  50. - W Flag - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    This is either the Battle of Verdun or the Battle of Paschendale (Flanders Fields) where casualties are mounting and victories were measured in inches and yards.

    This is unbelievable and borderline insane and all parties are to blame.


  51. - Now What? - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    No. All parties are not to blame. The governor has been at this long enough to own this, and it’s clear that his policies of trench warfare are not the policies supported by his constituents nor the people of Illinois. Waiting for the GOP to stand up to this guy. Check please.


  52. - Whatever - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    Mr.JM — Yeats knew a thing or two.

    Half close your eyelids, loosen your hair,
    And dream about the great and their pride;
    They have spoken against you everywhere,
    But weigh this song with the great and their pride;
    I made it out of a mouthful of air,
    Their children’s children shall say they have lied.


  53. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:46 pm:

    If a Governor feels the need to go before a group of reporters and state that he’s winning, it’s obvious that he isn’t winning. I imagine that the 36% that approve of the job he’s doing think he’s winning too, the majority of the state do not.


  54. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    He’s running on, I stayed the course.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 4:45 pm:

    ===…all parties are to blame.===

    Nope. Sorry.

    Citizen Rauner?

    ===“In Illinois there’s been a long-time history of what I would call social service, social justice, a bigger role for government in the safety net than in many other states,” Rauner said at a tax policy conference sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute. “I think we can drive a wedge issue in the Democratic Party on that topic and bring the folks who say, ‘You know what? For our tax dollars, I’d rather help the disadvantaged, the handicapped, the elderly, the children in poverty. I’d rather have my tax dollars going to that than the SEIU or Af-scammy (AFSCME), who are out there for their own interests.’”===

    Questions?


  56. - RNUG - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 4:45 pm:

    == IL can only hope the Dems organize behind 1 candidate early ==

    Not sure that is the best strategy at this point. Lots of different candidates means Rauner has to fight on multiple fronts, draining off some (admittedly almost limitless) resources and somewhat limited attention.


  57. - sal-says - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 4:53 pm:

    Sal mentioned to wife that Raunner says he’s ‘winning’.

    Mrs. Sal answers back: “At what?”

    Great question! We usually assume ‘winning’ is associated with something good. What if Raunner’s ‘winning’ means winning at destroying IL?


  58. - RNUG - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 5:06 pm:

    == trench warfare was rendered obsolete because of technology. ==

    This is as much a media and messaging fight as anything else. Rauner has bought old school advertising media and certain think tanks / policy institutes, and is using them to good effect. That effect also includes influencing / suborning main stream media outlets using those purchased resources. Plus his crew has, until recently, been good at using and winning the social media / direct communication channels.

    The poor and the middle class can’t directly compete with Rauner’s domination of the MSM. But social media is a different story; it IS the technology game changer that can be used without much money.

    Trump proved that you can successfully bypass the MSM and that you can, if outrageous enough and consistent enough, at least get the MSM to report some of your side.

    That’s why I, and a few others here, keep harping on the lack of a message from the Democrats, the Social Service providers, and the Unions. Until they wake up and realize they need to not just win the court battles but also the messaging battle, nothing will change. The bought and paid for GOP will go along with Rauner UNTIL the mob is at the door and their PERSONAL survival is threatened … and the way you do that is with better messaging.

    Direct messaging IS the new technology that will change this war … and the D’s NEED to understand and believe this in their hearts and souls.


  59. - Newsclown - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 5:32 pm:

    Rauner thinks he’s Sun Tsu. But he talks more like Zapp Brannigan:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfU69_up02Y

    and

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eowPka21BNc


  60. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 5:35 pm:

    pickin’ up next seats next November, GovDuct&Dodge is a superstar —- ain’t no votin’
    til the November after the next November


  61. - Historian - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 5:37 pm:

    If Rauner is going to channel Kaiser Wilhelm then I wish he would realize the inevitable like the Kaiser did in August 1918 “I see that we must strike a balance. We have nearly reached the limit of our powers of resistance. The war must be ended.”


  62. - jimk849 - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 6:28 pm:

    “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing”
    General George S. Rauner


  63. - Huh? - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 6:51 pm:

    Doughboy - Corporal, I have to go to the aid station. I have frostbite, dysentery, and trench foot.

    Corporal - Too bad. We go over the top in 5 minutes to attack Kaiser Madigan.


  64. - burbanite - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 7:06 pm:

    Winning is apparently quite expensive.


  65. - James Knell - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 7:31 pm:

    == But, we’re winning and we’re going to transform the state.==

    Ludendorff couldn’t have said it better himself.


  66. - Joe M - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 7:38 pm:

    “squeeze the beast” is his battle plan, then yes he is winning.


  67. - Impasse Casualty - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 7:49 pm:

    Rich, I’d love to see you deconstruct Rauner’s concept of ‘winning’ in your syndicated column.


  68. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 7:56 pm:

    RNUG EXACTLY! We’ve assembled what we call SMAC

    Social Media Activist Crew

    Direct Action

    One on one through existing social networks


  69. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 9:48 pm:

    Rauner’s campaign will have all the negativity of the Munger and Kirk campaigns on steroids.


  70. - Living it daily - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 9:58 pm:

    there never will be a balance, as right after the legislature gets together and forwards a plan… out comes the Turn around Agenda to stifle, any forward attempt for a budget, its not really about balancing a budget, its about my time as Governor of Illinois and my turn around agenda!


  71. - Morty - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:40 pm:

    I suppose since Rauner’s never actually defined what “winning” is we might have to take his word for it.

    I don’t mean the Turnabout Agenda…but what it actually is supposed to accomplish other than “improving the business climate”

    Will that lead to budget surplusses? A massive homecoming from people who fled the state? a chicken in every pot? World peace?

    I tend to think it gets you a won year reprieve until the next group of hotages are taken.

    Winning? Maybe…

    I sure know there’s been a lot of losing going on in this state, that’s for sure


  72. - 33rd Ward - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 12:12 am:

    What kind of “leader” starts a battle with his own state?


  73. - Flynn's mom - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:01 am:

    This is like a never ending episode of Hogan’s Heroes with Rauner as Colonel Klink.


  74. - titan - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:07 am:

    More and more it is starting to look like Sherman’s March to the Sea.

    Unfortunately, this Commander In Chief has Sherman marching through his own territory.


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