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Rauner repeats “Pants On Fire” lie about his grandparents

Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017

* Remember this from Politifact?

“My grandparents were proud immigrants to the United States of America, here to Illinois in the late 1800s,” Rauner said. “My grandparents did not speak English when they were young.” […]

More recently, when Rauner was interviewed in June 2017 by the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University, he again talked of his grandfather. “He was my best buddy growing up. He was an immigrant, didn’t speak much English. He spoke Swedish,” Rauner said.

And he also said this on Aug. 11, 2017, in an interview with Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel: “Illinois is a state built by immigrants. My grandparents were immigrants.” […]

Records from U.S. Censuses taken between 1910 and 1940, the latest year publicly available, clearly show that both of Rauner’s maternal grandparents were born in Wisconsin — Clarence Erickson in 1901 and Viola Erickson (nee Wedin) in 1900. In other words, neither of them were immigrants. […]

Census records and Rauner’s own admission show that this statement has no credibility. That is why it earns our lowest possible rating, Pants On Fire.

* Well, Gov. Rauner received the 2017 Person of the Year Award from the United Hellenic Voters Association yesterday. The full video of the banquet speeches is here.

An excerpt

* Relevant sentence from the governor’s remarks…

My grandparents came from Sweden 120 years ago.

This guy.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

60 Comments
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    Maybe that’s what the fire trucks were responding to?


  2. - PJ - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    Can one of his apologists give their side on why this blatant falsehood is ok?


  3. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    Look, this is pathetic and weird.

    I’ll make up stuff about my rivals and business partners. But why in the world does one lie about one’s grandparents?

    What kind of person does this?


  4. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    Well he’s using Governor Walker, the Governor of Sweden in his video, just ask him /s


  5. - AC - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    It’s closer to the truth than the blue collar man outfits he wears.


  6. - Regular democrat - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    At least he put on a tie for a change and started dressing like a wealthy businessman and not a biker hanging outat bunker hill woods drinking old style


  7. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    It is beyond strange. It is not like he has not been called out on this. Also is such a minor issue. In all seriousness maybe he does have a problem almost pathological. I am not trying to slam him there are lots of issues that I disagree with. But this constant fabrication is really weird


  8. - Lie to Me - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    Many people seem to hold dishonesty as a virtue. For heavens’s sake - he even won an award (liar of the year 2015-17)_


  9. - RNUG - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    At least Rauner has chutzpah …


  10. - Chris P. Bacon - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    It has something to do with forks. Ask Richard Porter.


  11. - Fako Ruiner - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    Why, it is nothin’ more than an alternative truth.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    Geez, Louise, someome “tackle” him and tell him his grandfather was born in Wisconsin.


  13. - Emily Miller - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    I’m good with calling out this lie because it’s weird and he should stop saying that, but would love a little more attention to go toward calling out his absurd campaign claims of fighting for things he literally tried to destroy, like, oh I don’t know, public education and the economy.


  14. - Whatever - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    “My grandparents came from Sweden 120 years ago — 4 years before they were born — so that they could be born in Wisconsin and qualify to be president some day.”


  15. - Hit Em With The Hein - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    Is he using the blanket term in reference to his great-grandparents? Either way he needs to go. Hope he rides his Harley into the sunset to one of his 6 houses that aren’t in Illinois.


  16. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    Two lies in one short sentence of eight words. New record???


  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    It’s true, I saw Bruce’s Swedish grandfather on TV, many times.

    He has a thick brown mustache, bushy eyebrows and you can’t see his eyes or understand him when he speaks. He had a cooking show and had a breakfast cereal he named, “Croonchy Stars”.

    He always opened each episode singing a song in Swedish that would end with “Bork, bork, bork, bork”.


  18. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    But the governors of Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin swear they remember greeting Rauner’s grandparents at Ellis Island.

    – MrJM


  19. - Saluki - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    If Rauner’s Great Grandparents were immigrants, would that technically make his statements true?

    I mean, isn’t a great grandparent, also technically a grandparent?

    Nevermind….I can’t figure out how to spin this…


  20. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    Rauner was actually supposed to receive the Pseudologoi award, instead. /s


  21. - cdog - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:24 pm:

    If he would say “great grandparents,” he would be correct. (That’s a scary thought /s)

    This article has links to 1910 and 1930 census docs on both the maternal and paternal sides.

    http://ethnicelebs.com/bruce-rauner


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    “Some of my best friends are Swedish immigrant grandparents from 120 years ago… “


  23. - Pundent - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    If you’re willing to lie about your family everything that follows comes easy.


  24. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    Dude has a bigger-than-Blago problem with lying.

    It’s been evident and chronic since he first hit the campaign trail. See Aaron Schock, Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, and Dan Rutherford on those dark-money negative spots Rauner claimed he had nothing to do with.

    How do you work with a guy like that? Go out on a limb with his “support,” and he’ll saw it off. See Sen. Radogno and the “grand compromise.”

    How do you trust him to keep his word? See Rep. Ives comments on the other thread.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    Aw, he wore a tie.

    That’s fun.


  26. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:27 pm:

    Here he is
    Rauner’s Swedish Grandfather


  27. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    Well when we live in an age where there aren’t any repercussions why not? He may as well start saying they were religious refugees too.


  28. - Responsa - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    So did his *great* grandparents come from Sweden 120 years ago? The timeline sure makes more sense if it’s one or both of his great grandparents than his grandparents being the direct immigrants. I guess I am trying to understand how that if the Sweden immigrant thing is true–other than just off by a generation –though being strange and hard to reconcile his propensity to mis-speak about them, does it really change the idea enough that he has Swedish immigrant ancestors who spoke Swedish to be a “pants on fire” issue?


  29. - Jocko - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    As other have said, if Bruce is willing to lie about something so petty and easily disprovable, why take him at his word on anything?

    If couldn’t trust him to water my plants or pick me up at the airport…why would I trust him to honestly disburse 36 Billion dollars?


  30. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    Responsa, it rates pants on fire because he knows it’s not true but keeps saying it.

    By now, you must know he does that a lot.


  31. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 1:59 pm:

    There is a clinical term for someone who lies if it suits his ends in the moment. These individuals are dangerous. They hurt other people. It fits Rauner to a T(rump).

    Recall, he started off on election night 2014 with a lie.

    No small part of Rauner’s ability to get ahead, imo, is his willingness to do and say things that other people, due to morals and regard for others, will not.

    We have a president who has made 1,318 false or misleading claims over the first 263 days of his presidency. His chief of staff, John Kelly, held a press conference to defend Trump after he was criticized for his response to Sgt. La David Johnson’s death. Kelly offered 20 lies and misstatements in 5 minutes.

    The scale and pathology of the deceit is new and the problem is disproportionately (though not exclusively) a Republican one.


  32. - Obamas Puppy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    Fraud part 2


  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    And when he was 12, Sonny Barger made him his 2nd in command of Hells Angels, Oakland Charter. Bruce was on the wharf awaiting his grandparents’ arrival, and Sonny was awestruck by the cut of his jib. And the cereal box prize buttons festooned on his mini-vest.


  34. - Huh? - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    My grandparents were immigrants too, from Indiana.


  35. - Big Joe - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    C’mon people. It’s not a lie…If he believes it.


  36. - L.A. - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    - What kind of person does this? -

    See Trump, Donald A.


  37. - King Louis XVI - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    And the same commenters here who were hailing new communications czarina Patty Shuh as a miracle worker are back in high dungeon over Rauner’s continued incompetence at the mic.


  38. - a drop in - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    I’m surprised he didn’t say “My grandparents came from Greece 120 years ago.”


  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===And the same commenters here who were hailing new communications czarina Patty Shuh as a miracle worker are back in high dungeon over Rauner’s continued incompetence at the mic.===

    Rauner as “Rauner”, the Superstars had control because Rauner let them.

    Rauner seems to be running himself as governor, candidate, party leader, and that vision of the lone wolf biker isn’t a metaphor…


  40. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:28 pm:

    ===I’m surprised he didn’t say “My grandparents came from Greece 120 years ago.”===

    I think that’s how Louis G. Atsaves wrote it up, lol.

    “Swedish immigrant grandparents are the backbone of Illinois.”


  41. - GOP Extremist - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    He’s a confidence man. It’s his nature.


  42. - CommentGuy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    Unless I’m missing something, wouldn’t Rauner have two sets of grandparents? If his mother’s side was born in Wisconsin…that doesn’t prove he is lying. Where were his paternal grandparents born? Or did he specifically mention maternal grandparents?


  43. - CommentGuy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 2:48 pm:

    My bad, I didn’t see the link to the article. Nevermind! :)


  44. - Albany Park Patriot - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    Hey, that, there’s a lot of traffic around Janesville sometimes, so his grandparents DID endure hardship during their heroic trek from Wisconsin.


  45. - King Louis XVI - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    –Rauner as “Rauner”, the Superstars had control because Rauner let them.–

    Please. It’s been a fixture his since election night lie about calling Madigan and Cullerton.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===Please. It’s been a fixture his since election night lie about calling Madigan and Cullerton.===

    I’d be surprised to learn that Rauner learned to “misspeak” once he started to run for office, or on election night, and not before…

    … follow me?


  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 3:19 pm:

    - King Louis XVI -

    If you don’t think it “matters” who is in the Comms Crew, then that thinking, Rauner shoulda just kept Diana Rickerts around…


  48. - Honeybadger - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    Here is a novel idea… how about the local news media call Rauner out for his obvious falsehoods? Rich Miller does a good job of pointing these blatant lies out and I am sure there are many news media types who read and get their info from this site. Do your job, news people. Sheesh


  49. - Rabid - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 4:54 pm:

    bearing false witness


  50. - Inmate 40892-424 - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 5:10 pm:

    Now, people, people, there actually is a Stockholm, Wisconsin (Population 66). Perhaps Der Brucester is just confused again…


  51. - AC - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 5:17 pm:

    ==how about the local news media call Rauner out for his obvious falsehood==

    I’ll watch for that on my local Sinclair owned TV station. /s


  52. - Dbl standard - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 6:03 pm:

    Why doesn’t the mainstream media cover this?


  53. - Chicago 20 - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 6:24 pm:

    It’s very curious that Rauner keeps retelling this false tale since 88% of Sweden’s workers work under a collective bargaining agreement.


  54. - EaglesFan123 - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 7:02 pm:

    Rauner is the WORST!!

    Ugh, taking a cue from Trump’s playbook - can anyone hold politicians accountable these days?


  55. - Jaxon - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 8:01 pm:

    Troubling that a lie would be repeated after being fact checked and refuted ? Not sure what to make of that . Theories?


  56. - Rabid - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 8:12 pm:

    fascinating, ann coulter was right about his mentality


  57. - Jaxon - Tuesday, Oct 24, 17 @ 10:16 pm:

    Never in Springfield- print media or the local Fox News . Why I avoid both.


  58. - Swede - Wednesday, Oct 25, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    So does he eat lutefisk like the rest of us Swedish Americans?


  59. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 25, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    Swede, you eat lutefisk on purpose?

    I’m proud of my Norsk heritage, but I draw the line on gelatinized fish marinated in lye. I avoid all lye-based edibles.


  60. - DesperateForAStory - Wednesday, Oct 25, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    With all of this “how could someone keep lying after being fact checked,” you’d think at least one person would realize he (perhaps incorrectly) uses the term “grandparents” to mean his genetic progenitors pre-conceiving his parents. Or, you can keep campaigning on the sad platform that he’s lying by claiming his grandparents lived the lives of (and had relationships with him actually held by) his great grandparents. “Rauner claims his grandparents were immigrants! Wrong, their parents were.” “Rauner claims his grandparents came to this country in the late 1800’s before they were born! Wrong, their parents did.”


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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