Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker says 2012 remark on “mediocre” choice between Obama and GOP was “just a theoretical remark”
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Pritzker says 2012 remark on “mediocre” choice between Obama and GOP was “just a theoretical remark”

Friday, Aug 11, 2017

* Remember this video of JB Pritzker when he was asked about who he was supporting in the 2012 presidential race?

The quote…

You know, we’ll have to wait and see. I don’t know who the nominee’s gonna be on the Republican side. Look, I’m a Democrat and, I think, you know, I tend to lean toward voting for the President [Barack Obama]. But I think this is gonna be a long campaign, we’re gonna learn a lot during this campaign. And ultimately, I think, you know, 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 best of a mediocre, you know, set of choices. [Emphasis added.]

* WGN TV asked him about that yesterday. His response

Well, actually I supported President Obama in ‘08 and ‘012, um, and, you know, it was just a theoretical remark. President Obama chose me to help lead the White House summit on early childhood for him in 2014, uh, at which he and I attended… [Emphasis added.]

The full interview, which is otherwise pretty positive, is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Political Animal - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    That’s a reasonable response.

    You can certainly read the original statement that way. He seems to be making a general statement like “you’re never going to agree with a candidate 100% of the time” rather than calling Obama, specifically, mediocre.

    That doesn’t mean it won’t be use by his opponents to hurt him. It was a poorly phrased statement regardless of his true meaning.

  2. - Annonin' - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Wow this has all the makin’sof a slooooow day

  3. - Anon E. Moose - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    I don’t think this information moves any voters.

  4. - Anon - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    We can’t handle 4 more years of Rauner, but good ole JB seems to be a one way ticket to such an outcome.

    You can tell already that the drip, drip, drip of this kind of stuff will be a hallmark of his campaign.

    There has to be a better option.

  5. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    I completely agree with him. I actually voted for Gary Johnson in 2012. My thought was, either way America will be fine but I like the Gary the best even if he 0% chance of winning.

  6. - Century Club - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    On its own, I’m not sure this does much. But if Kennedy does ads on school funding and gun violence in the African American community, including an ad on this would make sense. Also, there will undoubtedly be a debate that focuses on African American voters and Pritzker will no doubt get hammered on this there.

  7. - wondering - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    So, honesty not the best policy? He was right. Obama was mediocre, ineffective at best. His legacy, Obamacare, would have been more properly labeled Pelosicare. She is well deserving of the credit, not he.

  8. - Responsa - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    I think it will be a mistake for any candidate of either party to try to make President Obama a centerpiece (or a litmus test) in ads in this Illinois gubernatorial election.

  9. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    JB’s not wrong here. Still, this could probably hurt in the primary. If Chris Kennedy wasnt so inept at raising money, he might could make something out of this.

  10. - LilLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    All the “JB isn’t wrong here” people are totally missing the point. This is what JB said… on the floor of the NASDAQ… about the first African American President… who is from Chicago.

    Calling him a mediocre choice in 2012 isn’t going to sit well with progressives or African American voters.

    Questions is, will Kennedy put any money behind this line of attack?

  11. - A guy - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    ==um, and, you know…uh, at which===

    He’s a dude of conviction alright. A rhetorical flourish to be sure. Uh, yeah, uh, you know…right.

  12. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    It’s not JUST that he said Obama was mediocre. That probably WILL be a big deal among a decent segment of primary voters. But he is also attempting to run a strong progressive Democrat, when just a few years ago he wasn’t sure if he would vote for the Democrat or the Republican.

    Progressive Democrats don’t think about voting for Romney, Santorum, or Huckabee over Barack Obama.

  13. - Real - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    As an African American male who voted for Obama in 08 I agree with Pritzker. Obama is/was a mediocre President and nothing more than a puppet.

  14. - DownstateKid - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    JB’s biggest issue will be convincing progressives he is one of them. Hard to do when you bash the President and inherited your billions.

  15. - Real - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 11:49 am:


    Obama is a corporate dem.. Far from a progressive dem.

  16. - Anon - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 11:58 am:

    The state just declared Obama’s birthday to be a state holiday.

    JB calls him mediocre.

    He will continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. I only pray people catch on before it’s too late.

  17. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    JB was a Hillary guy. But he supported Obama both times eventually. And in the general, Obama will probably campaign for him. Nonstory.

  18. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    It’s hard to watch a heavy weighted person try to back peddle on marbles

  19. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 12:48 pm:

    As a Republican who voted for Obama in ‘08, I felt the same way as JB did in 2012. Give him a point for his candor.

  20. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Friday, Aug 11, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    What, would progressives and African American voters have preferred to be lied to? At that point, Obama was a mediocre choice for president. Couple years earlier he had lost 63 seats in the House and darn near lost control of the Senate too, along with a huge number of Governor seats and state legislatures. You could already see the ACA issues coming, and he hadn’t done anything to rein in the banks that caused the great recession in the first place.

    And, as this is a state politics blog, it can’t be left unsaid that the guy didn’t do squat for Illinois in his first four years (or his second four years for that matter). Remember all the federal goodies Texas got while Bush was president, or Arkansas under Clinton? We got bupkis. Bash JB all you want for supporting Hillary over Bernie, but don’t act like Obama was FDR in 2012.

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