Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Oppo dump! Pritzker on 2012 Obama campaign: A pick between “best of a mediocre set of choices”
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Oppo dump! Pritzker on 2012 Obama campaign: A pick between “best of a mediocre set of choices”

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We’ve already talked about JB Pritzker’s 2012 remark on a cable TV show how he hadn’t yet made up his mind whether he would support the Republican presidential nominee or President Obama’s reelection. At the time, the Republican candidates remaining in the race were Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

If you watch the video, however, you’ll see Pritzker first say “Look, I’m a Democrat and I tend to lean toward voting for the President,” and then he went on to say

But I think this is gonna be a long campaign, we’re gonna learn a lot during this campaign. And ultimately, as in every election, it’s gonna be a choice between two people and two parties that you’re not a hundred percent behind either one. You just have to pick sort of the, the best of a mediocre set of choices.

Obama is visiting Chicago tomorrow, by the way.

* Video

* Meanwhile, yesterday we discussed how a Chris Kennedy fundraising e-mail unfavorably compared Pritzker to Gov. Rauner. Greg Hinz reached out to the campaigns

The Pritzker camp is shrugging off the attack. “J.B. looks forward to working with grassroots, Democratic and other organizations across Illinois to fight back against the failed leadership of Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump,” said his communications director, Galia Slayen. “And, unlike the current governor, J.B. doesn’t tear things down. He has a proven record of bringing people together.” […]

The Kennedy folks think they’re on to something here and intend to continue this line of attack. “We’ve seen what happens when someone like Gov. Rauner doesn’t need to reach out,” spokesman Mark Bergman said. “It’s resulted in gridlock” as GOP lawmakers who need Rauner’s financial help in their campaigns have refused to back a bipartisan deal, perhaps fearing that Rauner allies will oppose them in primaries as occurred in some instances this spring. Or, as the mailer put it: Big money “silences us. It says . . . that if you fight our fight for us, we’ll make you our king.”

Of course, Kennedy does not exactly reside in the poorhouse, having donated $250,100 to his own campaign. But that’s peanuts compared to the $7 million Pritzker donated to himself just in the campaign’s early days, Bergman said. “There’s a difference (between them). Chris has to raise money from people across Illinois,” Bergman said. “J.B. doesn’t.”

All of this will thoroughly delight GOP leaders. “Do the Democrats listen to any voice except Mike Madigan?” asked former state GOP Chairman Pat Brady.

There’s also some word going around that Pritzker may be going up on TV very soon. Stay tuned.


  1. - One hand //ing - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    ===And ultimately, as in every election, it’s gonna be a choice between two people and two parties that you’re not a hundred percent behind either one. You just have to pick sort of the, the best of a mediocre set of choices.===

    Don’t bring that extremely reasonable, totally relatable logic around here, Pritzker.

  2. - NotForSale - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    So he said Obama is mediocre. In other words, he has some common sense. What’s more concerning is the fact that’s always done everything possible to help the Clintons and give them millions of dollars for their campaigns.

  3. - Say what? - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    No, No, No, to anyone “going up on TV” with political campaign ads. Enough of this perpetual campaigning in Illinois. Let’s try something new — how about some perpetual governing? You know,the olld fashioned stuff like passing a budget, which seems to be a major problem on both the national and the state level.

  4. - JoeMaddon - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    **Chris has to raise money from people across Illinois**

    I mean, sure, except that a very large chunk of Kennedy’s money comes from outside of IL.

    $550k of Kennedy’s $950k comes from either Kennedy’s “loan” to himself or from out of state.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    ===All of this will thoroughly delight GOP leaders.===

    Wait till Rauner inserts himself to continue the intramural Democratic fight.

    Spending the time and energy to attack fellow Democrats, up until State Fair, is 1,000% aiding Bruce Rauner.

    When Rauner ran, he ran as an outsider railing on Republicans, but always, always… always… ending with “Pat Quinn failed”

    Dems are going to alienate each other, Rauner will have tried and seem what works to take on the battered Nominee and turnout will stay low, aiding Rauner.

    “All of this will thoroughly delight GOP leaders.”

    No, Raunerites.

    “All of this will thoroughly delight Raunerites.”

    And that’s right. Exactly right.

  6. - JoeMaddon - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    As for Pritzker… lets sum it up.

    Pritzker says that Obama is a mediocre, and that he wasn’t quite sure if he was going to support Obama over Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum.

    That should play REALLY WELL in a Democratic primary in Illinois.

  7. - Rufus - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    So, how is that different than the 2016 election, when we had to make the choice between two mediocre, at best, choices?

  8. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    Clearly someone is worried about Pritzker.

  9. - downstate dem - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    embarrassing for mr. pritzker … “the best of a set of mediocre choices” - ouch - sure team obama loves to see this!

  10. - Annonin' - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    Surprised to see they drag lobbyist Pat Brady out for this stuff. Was the car wash king emptyin’ the changes boxes?

  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    - downstate dem -

    ===…sure team obama loves to see this!===

    Does Secretary Pritzker fall into the “team Obama” stuff?

    Think on that, get back to us.

  12. - Rocky Rosi - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    This is drip drip. This could turn into Hillary 2.0 very fast. His check book will give him some breathing room with AA leaders that need resources but the issue is that his non support of Obama could sting with the AA community.

  13. - JoeMaddon - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    LOL - of course folks are worried about Pritzker. He just gave his campaign $7 million. As a down payment. If folks aren’t worried about Pritzker, they’re foolish.

    Someone described this to me yesterday. 4 of us sitting around a table, making a combined annual income of prob somewhere around $400-450k per year. And the person said that we, collectively, were closer to Rauner’s income than Rauner is to Pritzker’s income. Pritzker is capable of literally spending how every much he want, and however much he needs. Can he fund every dream that his campaign staff have.

    Yea, everyone should be worried about Pritzker. Because money can buy a lot of love, name recognition, polling, data, staff, and every other possible thing that you could ever dream of having in a campaign.

  14. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    Eh. So what. The dem candidates are gonna do what they can to distinguish themselves from the others. One will win the nomination. And then Obama will support that candidate against Rauner (and commercials like this will be gone and forgotten)

  15. - Jibba - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    As a staunch Dem, I couldn’t care less if Pritzker was ambivalent about Obama 6 years ago. If you recall, it took a rousing speech by Bill Clinton at the convention to get Dems excited and proud to support Obama after a mediocre first term marked by economic downturn and massive Congressional losses due to opposition to Obamacare.

  16. - Sue - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    That’s the difference between a pol and a businessman- the businessman speaks with honesty

  17. - Juvenal - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    === it’s gonna be a choice between two people and two parties that you’re not a hundred percent behind either one. You just have to pick sort of the, the best of a mediocre set of choices. ===

    Of all the candidates trying to claim the Bernie Sanders mantle, this quote probably best captures the ethos of Sanders voters, and he was not even trying.

    If any one of his opponents has any evidence that Pritzker actually voted for a Republican, or actually did anything other than make lukewarm comments, they might actually have something.

    Weak sauce.

  18. - Rock Rosi - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    To add to my thought- why would he say that about Obama? Obama was a great friend to central bankers, Wall Street and billionaire class. Just look at the Obama stock market. The rich got a lot richer and the little guy not so much.

  19. - ZC - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    This would be close to the time when Rauner started going up on the air seeking the 2014 GOP nod.

    If you look back at the trend, Rauner could goose his numbers up with early ad spending, but they came back down to earth if he left the airwaves for any substantial length of time.

    The early 2013 ad blitz by Rauner and associates, however, may have served to discourage other challengers from getting into the race, and maybe (I don’t know) cut into fundraising for his opponents.

  20. - W Flag - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    J. B. Pritzker will have to take a hit on this, but that doesn’t mean that he is incorrect.

    It is amazing to see the level of “Obama love” that persists in Chicago (”faith without evidence” as the clergy used to say). If one leaves Illinois, there is a sort of reality check as some people critical of the 44th President are not afraid to speak up in the provinces. In Chicago, to utter such statements is deemed heretical.

    HRC is taking grief for losing the presidency last year, but some of Trump’s votes were due to Obama fatigue.

  21. - The Captain - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    The drip, drip, drip of this is what surprises me most. Pritzker is investing in early staff, you’d think they’d find a way to limit these 2012 quotes to one-day stories.

  22. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    ==Of all the candidates trying to claim the Bernie Sanders mantle, this quote probably best captures the ethos of Sanders voters, and he was not even trying.==

    Something to this; the Our Revolution folks don’t believe 44 needs or deserves constant deification. It also occurs to me that without Team Obama mobilizing on this issue, it’s going to be hard to move votes on it. And Team Obama…well, is that a thing that even exists in IL anymore?

  23. - Mediocre - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    Honestly if you think back to 2012, it’s easy to see how a Democrat could have felt that way, from a progressive viewpoint. That was right on the heels of Simpson-Bowles, the grand bargain, the pivot to deficit, the self-inflicted wound of offering Medicare and SS cuts…

    I’m not saying JB was coming at it from a progressive viewpoint at that time, especially with the reference to the Republican candidate.
    But, if it was me and I was getting asked that question about my statement, I would be glad to use the opportunity to give an argument against mediocrity and for strong progressive ideals.

  24. - Flabby - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    Agree wth many of the commenters that Pritzker’s position is reasonable and relatable. More often than not, our 2-party concoction has offered “the lesser of two evils choice”.
    As far as Former President Obama goes, he was a smart man and had some good positions. However Obama came down hard on a lot of the Democratic base with his Woodrow Wilsonesque whistleblower retaliation and his willful blindness to Wall Street criminality. He also provided aid and comfort to war profiteers and other US war criminals. So yes - Pritzker is relatable when didn’t fall all over himself for neoliberalism its Democratic party candidate.

  25. - AC - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    This line of attack could backfire. These are strange times, and being viewed as independent may help Pritzker far more than it hurts him, even among people who had a favorable view of Obama. If Pritzker wins the primary, I could definitely see this helping him to be viewed as an outsider.

  26. - Downstate Dem - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 1:32 pm:

    The contrast with other candidates, who backed Obama passionately, and this ‘I may back the Republican over Obama’ rhetoric isn’t helpful to Team Pritzker. Biss was out front for Obama, and Kennedy hosted a fundraiser at his home for Obama in 2004.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    ===The contrast with other candidates, who backed Obama passionately, and this ‘I may back the Republican over Obama’ rhetoric isn’t helpful to Team Pritzker. Biss was out front for Obama, and Kennedy hosted a fundraiser at his home for Obama in 2004.===

    Sec.Pritzker might help with all that distance, lol

  28. - Fav Hum - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    Does Kirk Dillard regret endorsing Obama?

    I suspect greatly.

    I also think JB will regret that comment.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===Does Kirk Dillard regret endorsing Obama?===

    Dillard was running, twice, in a GOP primary. Different voting universe.

    ===I suspect greatly.===

    The politics say yes, but bipartisanship should be welcomed in the governing, just less so in opposing statewide primary battles… except when it behooves a candidate to be someone that brings people together… Ugh…

    ===I also think JB will regret that comment.===

    Let’s see how Sec. Pritzker can help JB first…

  30. - ILGOV2018 - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    “Do the Republicans listen to any voice except Bruce Rauner?” asked former state GOP Chairman Pat Brady.

    There fixed it for you Pat.

  31. - ILGOV2018 - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    As a staunch Democrat and past supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders, I am going to support JB for Governor. I have met the man and find him to be very personable, honest, smart, funny and genuine. So what if he wasn’t sure about Obama in 2012. I am calling his campaign today to volunteer my services. I have worked many political campaigns over the years, especially at the local level. If he connects with blue collar guys like me, he will do very well against Rauner.

  32. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 3:13 pm:

    ==I also think JB will regret that comment.==

    Through March 20, maybe. If he’s still running on March 21, though, he’ll probably put the clip in his own commercials.

  33. - Say no to big government - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 3:49 pm:

    “The failed leadership of Donald Trump” ??????
    Trump has only been president for just over 100 days. How can anyone genuinely render a verdict on his leadership? JB’s communication director is obviously pandering towards a group that has already decided Trump has been a disaster. I don’t know if those who strictly her words or JB’s words, but the last thing we need is another panderer in office or someone who surrounds himself with partisan hacks who can’t be objective.

  34. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===JB’s communication director is obviously pandering towards a group that has already decided Trump has been a disaster===

    Um, yeah, genius. They’re in a Democratic primary race.

    In Illinois.

    You know, the state President Trump lost by double digits?

    The state with a Republican governor who hasn’t so much as uttered the President’s name?


  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 5:47 pm:

    I’m guessing Obama will support the Dem nominee in the general election, so I don’t think it will mean anything there if it’s Pritzker.

    Could in sting in a primary? Maybe.

    But I thought the Hynes’ spot featuring Harold blasting Quinn was a winner. It backlashed badly on Hynes.

  36. - prairiestatedem - Tuesday, May 2, 17 @ 10:14 pm:

    In 2012, when President Obama needed faithful support from his home state to help win his second term we get this from JB? Perhaps he thought Romney was a pretty cool guy because he could identify with the car elevator?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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