* Mark Maxwell on Gov. Rauner’s campaign tour…
The incumbent Republican replayed many of his greatest hits from his 2014 campaign during his two stops in Decatur and Champaign on Monday, but he struggled to defend his own record on job growth since he took office.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Illinois ranked 48th in job growth nationwide between September 2016 and September 2017. Only two states ranked lower during that stretch and they lost jobs.
Rauner acknowledge the state’s economic troubles, but said the problem predates his tenure.
“I could say that we have added 150,000 new jobs since I became governor,” Rauner said of his first three years in office. That figure doesn’t match seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which list new jobs in Illinois at 119,000 since January of 2015.
Rauner’s campaign later replied to our request for clarification via email saying his jobs figure was only meant as a rough estimate, and pointed out that the official federal numbers don’t account for non-seasonally adjusted data.
* Meanwhile, IWT has been giving the governor a lot of grief for this comment…
* The full quote…
People say, well, we didn’t have a budget for two years, that caused a problem. That’s not the case.
What’s happened is 35 years of deficits has caused our problems.
And so he fixed that by… doing what, exactly? He took an admittedly bad situation and turned it into a disaster for more than two solid years. You don’t fix a structural budget problem by piling on more debt and close to a billion dollars in interest on backlogged bills.