* From earlier this month…
Democratic governor contender Chris Kennedy abruptly left a candidate forum Monday, criticizing Republican candidate Jeanne Ives for what he called “ignorance and stupidity” after she said Chicago’s gun violence could be solved if more fathers stayed in the home.
The controversy came when Ives, a three-term conservative lawmaker from Wheaton who is challenging Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, responded to a question on curbing gun crimes.
“The problem is the gun violence in this city of Chicago, predominantly. And you know how you’re going to solve it? Fathers in the home,” she said.
As the audience booed and shouted, she repeated, “Fathers in the home.”
* BGA and Politifact…
The Ives campaign later doubled down on the comment, explaining in a statement released to media that “many have advocated the same idea, including President Obama.”
The Ives statement quoted from a 2008 Father’s Day speech in which then-candidate Obama, himself raised mostly by a single mother and her parents, called on fathers to own up to their family responsibilities.
So is Ives seeking to further an idea that was earlier championed by Obama? Did Obama say fathers actively raising their children will solve the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago? We decided to check.
Ives claims she was echoing comments from former President Obama as she declared recently that the solution to curbing rampant gun violence would depend on more fathers taking responsibility for their families.
In his 2008 speech, Obama drew a link between children from fatherless homes and those who stray into crime. But Ives took it a lot further than Obama ever did.
Her sweeping claim is not supported by the passages from Obama’s speech that her campaign pointed to as evidence. A reading of the full speech doesn’t support Ives either.
As president, Obama made several speeches about the proliferation of guns and violence, and also laid out an array of proposals to deal with the problems. In his public pronouncements, however, Obama did not make statements linking the problem of absent fathers with gun violence.
Ives is taking the message from Obama’s 2008 Father’s Day speech out of context. We rate her statement False.