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Pritzker unleashes the hounds on Kennedy with new ad

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018

* Lots of chatter this week that undecideds are leaning Chris Kennedy’s way

Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker in a new TV ad continues to hound rival Chris Kennedy for once praising Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner — as Kennedy in his own ad highlights his father and his “ideals.” […]

Kennedy, in January, opined that Rauner “should be applauded” for running attack ads against Pritzker before the Democratic primary. But then he took a step further in his praise for the embattled governor. […]

“We are running a positive campaign while J.B. Pritzker continues to run a negative campaign,” Kennedy spokeswoman Rebecca Evans said on Tuesday. “Chris has said repeatedly that Bruce Rauner threw a million people out of social services. That means he is inhumane. He went two years without a budget. That means he’s incompetent. He is running to defeat Bruce Rauner and his awful leadership.”

* And here it is

* Script…

Narrator: Listen to what Chris Kennedy recently had to say about Bruce Rauner:

Chris Kennedy: Bruce Rauner is trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois.

Narrator: What?

Chris Kennedy: His willingness to speak truth to power to take on the powers that have been strangling our economy for decades in the state, is something that I think he should be applauded for.

Narrator: Don’t we need a Democrat who can stand up to Bruce Rauner?

Chris Kennedy: That I think he should be applauded for.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    Great ad and good for Pritzker to try to check any late momentum. Those Kennedy words sting.

  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:00 pm:

    Good ad. It’s not too hard to find clumsy soundbites from Kennedy. Had Kennedy been more articulate, organized and dynamic, he might have been able to catch up with Pritzker, despite the deficit of cash.

  3. - TKMH - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:01 pm:

    This is about as good a finisher you can have on an opponent in the week leading up to election day. Good on the Pritzker team.

  4. - Anonish - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    Solid hit.

    All depends on how you define “recently”

  5. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===We are running a positive campaign while J.B. Pritzker continues to run a negative campaign,”===

    Which campaign is she referring to? Kennedy has called Pritzker corrupt and racist. That’s positive?

  6. - fly - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:09 pm:

    First, I don’t believe that undecided are breaking Kennedy’s way. Second, this is probably the most devastating ad I have seen in a primary. For unions, progressives, people that don’t like Trump, people that don’t like Rauner, hearing Kennedy say this will be intolerable. I think Kennedy’s chances ended after the fiasco at the Convention. They have gotten worse since. This is devastating.

  7. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:11 pm:

    Better the ad runs in the primary, Team Kennedy. You’d get the same ad from Bruce in the fall.

  8. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:11 pm:

    Kennedy is starting to circle the drain a little bit.

  9. - former southerner - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    Although they aren’t in lockstep on policy Kennedy reminds me too much of Quinn with his stumbling and bumbling routine that would set the stage for a loss in the general.

    If Rauner didn’t have the Ives problem he could have been well served by supporting Kennedy via dark money along with a concerted effort to get GOP voters to pull a democratic ballot for Kennedy in the primary.

  10. - ILDemVoter - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    Pritzker and his whack a mole strategy….certainly not making any friends or building coalitions come the general, should he be the nominee. Regardless of what anyone thinks, both Kennedy & Biss have lots of strong, unwavering supporters who aren’t going to be so quick to jump on #TeamJB, or put in the work they do for either of those candidates. (and I know, they started it first, JB can pay people yada yada- I’m just being observant here).

  11. - Shytown - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    Kennedy spokeswoman claims they’re running a positive campaign? I’ve heard it all now. March 20 can’t come soon enough.

  12. - Responsa - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:18 pm:

    That ad is not good. What is JB thinking? Airing an ad where his likely general election opponent is actually being praised on the airwaves for at least trying to fix things? I’m stunned at how bassakwards this feels at this critical time with only a week left and so many Dem undecideds. JB should have let this one lie. For JB it’s a C-. For Kennedy it’s a B+ on JB’s dime. You don’t have to like Rauner in the slightest to understand that one of the reasons he won last time was because voters were sick of the status quo. That’s what many viewers who see this ad will understand that Kennedy was recognizing, saying, and vaguely applauding while implying he gets it and he’ll not be status quo either. Chris has never remotely suggested he thought Rauner was doing a good job, has he?

  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:19 pm:

    ===have lots of strong, unwavering supporters who aren’t going to be so quick to jump on #TeamJB===

    You don’t aim ads at people like that. You aim ads at undecideds and leaners.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:28 pm:

    If this were running March 1st, it would have my attention.

    Six days out tells me the media guy is adding rooms to the house s/he is building off the monies made… and doing it now also allows many to say, “wadda mean we didn’t go flat out against them?”

    Boy, March 1st… this woulda been crushing. Now it’s hedging a bet, as crushing as it still is.

  15. - walker - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    Nice finisher, that doesn’t make you look nasty.

  16. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    Kennedy seems more and more like PQ (just with a whole lot more privilege)

  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===Chris has never remotely suggested he thought Rauner was doing a good job, has he? ===

    He’s Mr. Nuance. So, yes, he has, even though he says he hasn’t.

  18. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:33 pm:

    I can’t imagine any Biss supporters who would back Rauner over Pritzker in the general. (I don’t really know any Kennedy supporters, so I can’t say what they’ll do.)

    If you love Illinois, you’ll vote against Rauner.

  19. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    @Soccermom It’s all about Trump. If you’re fired up enough to care about gubernatorial primary, then you’re voting in November. And those people are voting Republicans out. Lots of melodrama but big picture isn’t changing.

  20. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:47 pm:

    I think this ad has one simple purpose: sending a message to Chris Kennedy and the rest of his inner circle for going after Pritzker’s dead parents.

    Let the brain trust explain how they took Kennedy from 40 percent to a third place finish. Let Kennedy try to position himself for another run for office after finishing behind Daniel Biss.

    As Rich pointed out, this ad was not a political necessity, it was something they have been avoiding. But things have gotten exremely personal.

    You don’t attack a guy’s dead parents. Particularly when they were not even public figures.

  21. - OurMagician - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    If Kennedy had money, the response ad would write itself but he doesn’t so he can’t.

  22. - Anon324 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:55 pm:

    I get what he’s doing here (Kennedy isn’t really on our side), and it’s effective in that regard. But I can’t help thinking it cuts both ways–there are a lot of blue collar Dems out there (or at least there used to be) who have watched their jobs go to other states. Maybe there aren’t enough of them left to matter in the primary, but if this airs in places like Peoria, the Quad Cities, Carbondale, etc., doesn’t this make Kennedy look like a reasonable person who recognizes that the way things have gone for the past 20 years in this state hasn’t been all that great for some people? You don’t have to like Rauner to understand that the economy in this state is circling the drain, especially outside of metro Chicago.

  23. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    Kennedy said this. He said lots of other Rauner talking points. I don’t know why and I don’t care. But he said it and the question the ad ask is whether this is the guy you want as your standard bearer. Imagine the Rauner ads with this. It’s a totally fair and deserved hit.

  24. - Retired Educator - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    Seeing how the Governor’s approval rating is south of 26%, an ad where Kennedy praises him is devastating. The Pritzker team finally got it right. WE are a week out. It is time to target both viable opponents. I think a new attack on Biss is coming. Attack until election day, take a breath, then start the assault on Rauner. Ad is a solid A-.

  25. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 2:23 pm:


    No it does not.

  26. - a drop in - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    I know of at least one person who will vote for Rauner over Pritzker. That said, I don’t think he has the “Hillary” problem where so many would oppose him over the Republican.

  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    If Kennedy wins there is no way Rauner will use this to attack him, because if he does then Rauner because he is basically saying Kennedy praised the bad guy, and that bad person is Rauner. That won’t promote Rauner vision

  28. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==That ad is not good. ==

    This is some motivated reasoning right here.

    Bruce Rauner has a 26% approval rating. That’s not going to improve because someone polling in the teens praises him. That’s just gonna make sure the guy in the teens stays there.

  29. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    ==because if he does then Rauner because he is basically saying Kennedy praised the bad guy, and that bad person is Rauner==

    Nah, see, he frames it like, “Even my opponent knows I’m right, and he even said I should be applauded. Here, let me show you the clip.”

  30. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    Arsenal has it exactly right. It’s not an attack ad. It’s a validation by his opponent ad and it would work.

    “Kennedy: Bruce Rauner is doing what he thinks is best for the State of Illinois.

    Rauner: Thanks Chris. And that’s why I’ve been fightin’ Mike Madigan since I got here.

    Kennedy: His willingness to speak truth to power to take on the powers that have been strangling our economy for decades in the state, is something that I think he should be applauded for.

    Rauner: Ya got that right Chris and thanks for your applause. But why you doin’ Mike Madigan’s bidding?

    VO: Even Chris Kennedy says we need to stand up to Madigan but only Bruce Rauner can be counted on to do it. Re-Elect Governor Rauner.”

  31. - Lil Lebowski Urban Achiever - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 4:06 pm:

    Arsenal and 0091 agreeing with each other… surprising from our two most prominent JB-Bots.

  32. - WizzardOfOzzie - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 4:07 pm:

    Kennedy knew this was coming. I think the emphasis on his family may have been to help minimize the damage this would do.

    Robert Kennedy’s son supports Rauner… that’s dumb.

  33. - Anon324 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 4:08 pm:


    Well if you say so, then it must be true.

  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 4:13 pm:

    Chris Kennedy applauds Bruce Rauner.

    That should give a voting Dem pause.

    Besides Ken Dunkin, no Dem applauded Bruce Rauner, or that I could think of… now Chris Kennedy.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
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* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

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