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Rauner said he didn’t know what “pants on fire” meant

Thursday, Mar 15, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Texts from a Dem operative this week…

At this point I’ve had so many reporters just shrug when I point out Rauner lies that it’s becoming not worth my time.

“Rauner lied!” isn’t really a story anymore.

No one cares unless its about chocolate milk.

* The one thing that some reporters and columnists are picking up on, though, is the Rauner TV attack ads against Rep. Jeanne Ives for being in league with Speaker Madigan. The spots recently earned a “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact. Here’s the DGA…

With just a few days to go in his surprisingly competitive primary election, Governor Bruce Rauner’s been under increasing scrutiny for his “blatantly false” ads attacking his primary opponent. Rauner recently earned a “Pants on Fire” rating for his ads.

Asked about it [yesterday], Rauner seemed unfamiliar with the term associated with serial liars:

    Reporter: “You’ve talked about values, and you’ve been running ads against Jeanne Ives that are called ‘Pants on Fire’ by PolitiFact…”

    Rauner: “Haha, whatever that means.”

    Reporter: “It means that it’s not only false, it’s ludicrous….”

This actually explains a lot. Rauner’s been burning up the PolitiFact charts with his consistently untruthful statements:

Despite earning a “Pants on Fire” rating for falsely claiming his grandparents were immigrants to America, Rauner repeated the claim so often the State Journal-Register felt the need to rerun the fact check in their newspaper. By the way, Rauner’s grandparents were born in Wisconsin.

“Bruce Rauner’s not just telling white lies – he’s trying to cover up for three years of failed leadership,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “The truth is that under Bruce Rauner state debt skyrocketed, job growth slowed, and the state suffered through a two-year budget crisis. Illinois is worse under Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership, and that’s no lie.”


  1. - Arsenal - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    If the Dem Operative is correct, that’s just extra depressing. Most of the press spent 2 years not challenging Rauner’s lies, and then get bored of it after about 6 months.

    How-evah…most partisan operatives always gripe like this, and it’s not clear how accurate it is.

  2. - Perrid - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    ?? The phrase “Liar, liar, pants on fire” is a pretty common one. Granted I heard and used it more on the playground than in adult life, but still.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    The vertical integration and the cover Rauner received ave still receives from editorial boards makes calling Rauner “misleading” or worse just doesn’t work.

    It doesn’t.

    You have pros like Monique, or Ray, or Rick write something very fair to Rauner and still point out the falsehood surrounding the governor and the same paper in the Editorial section will praise Rauner, not only for the fair praise the other three covered, but many times that editorial board will help with the falsehood covered in actual reporting.

    While Rauner is terribly underwater in polling, the premise that Rauner will be called out isn’t one that happens with stinging written overviews…

    … but Rauner is still underwater, so what exactly will please people more, better coverage against Rauner?

    The man is polling terrible. Take the win.

  4. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    Fact checking finds that Rauner gets a Pants on Fire for his statement that he doesn’t know what “Pants on Fire” means.

    C’mon man. We know that your policy and market experienced wife told you what it meant several times.

  5. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    A liar is a liar. Rauner’s been lying his whole life. Not just something that started in politics. His willingness to lie and bully made him a rich man.

    It’s the most detestable trait in another human being. Scary that we have pathological liars as our state’s and nation’s chief executives. Scary, too, the number of people who will excuse the behavior, just because of a party label.

  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    The guy lies about not knowing the meaning of the universal school yard taunt for lying that every kindergartener, ever, knows?

    Something wrong with that dude. I’ve come to the conclusion that he can help himself. Lies about everything, large and small.

  7. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    Politifact is running out of pants to burn this guy lies so much

  8. - Anon221 - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    Disingenuous or just disconnected- only The (Rauner) Shadow knows. But this came to mind with his response…

  9. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    It is scary how easy it is for pols to get away with pathological lying nowadays.

    Dems need to run ads not just attacking Rauner as incompetent and cruel but also as a liar. Getting that across to voters takes away much of the power of his attacks.

    That is how Ives should have tried to neutralize the phony Madigan’s favorite Republican hit.

  10. - Skeptic - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    “The guy lies about not knowing the meaning of the universal school yard taunt for lying” Maybe his school it was more “I dare say but your trousers seem to be creating an extreme amount of exothermic energy right at the moment.”

  11. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    ===Rauner: “Haha, whatever that means.”===

    Does anyone honestly think he’s telling the truth here?

  12. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    Ahem, I believe the entire phrase is “Liar liar pants on fire, nose as long as a telephone wire.”

  13. - brooog - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    I seriously dislike Ives, and I know Rauner wouldn’t be attacking her from the left, but man I can’t believe how obviously dishonest his ads against her are. Does anyone really fall for the way he’s trying to paint her? Is that really the best he can come up with?

    I particularly like attacking her for saying she wouldn’t repeal the income tax hike “immediately.” Uh, Rauner, you’ve been in office a while since it’s been passed, and I kinda noticed that you didn’t immediately repeal it, either.

  14. - Jocko - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    His Swedish grandparents must’ve read “Pinocchio” from the perspective of John Worthington Foulfellow.

  15. - Annonin' - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    GovJunk really does not care if he lies
    Remember we began with the election nite phone call.
    Now he is pushin’ a cost shift on pensions and health which allows his to portray his mish mash spending plan a balanced budget.
    It will be interesting to see wht comes of running all his investments through the Paradise Papers blender.

  16. - dbk - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    Maybe PolitiFact could create a new category one up from “Pants on Fire”: Raunerism.

    I mean, really.

  17. - anonymous 2 - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    “Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts. But let this happen in such a way that no one become aware of it; or, if it should be noticed, excuses must be at hand to be produced immediately.”……Machiavelli

  18. - Honeybadger - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    Hey Ow, how about a flashback scene for your HBO documentary about Rauner? Something along the lines of Rauner as a child in the school playground telling all of the gullible children who will listen to him that his grandparents were born in Sweden. THen one of his best friends, points out to him that they were born in Wisconsin and says “Liar,liar, pants on fire”.

    This begins his life as a liar.

  19. - Honeybadger - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    Oh and the only ones who do believe him grow up to work for the Trib/Tronc

  20. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    –Remember we began with the election nite phone call.–

    I think the weirdest one was last summer, when he gave reporters what he claimed were extended verbatims from a private phone call between Madigan and Cullerton that allegedly had taken place just a few minutes before.

    That’s throw-a-net-over-him koo-koo.

  21. - Roman - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    Yet it seems to be working.

    I’ve had a few people who actually pay more attention to politics than most say to me something like: “I didn’t know Ives was close to Madigan.”

  22. - itsmyopinion - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 12:21 pm:

    Oh, wow, we got it all wrong growing up in my little neck of the woods. Anonymous above says it is

    “Liar liar pants on fire, nose as long as a telephone wire.”

    We all said Liar Liar pants on fire, hanging on a telephone wire. No wonder that second part didn’t make any sense. lol

  23. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    –Yet it seems to be working.–

    History has shown that The Big Lie often does, with some of the people, all of the time.

    They have to want to believe it, of course.

  24. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 12:42 pm:

    At this point, we should assume any Rauner statement is false until Fact Checked to be true.

  25. - Huh? - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    1.4% must have a closet full of nomex clothes to be telling tales that are taller than him.

  26. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    Leather chaps don’t burn, they melt.

  27. - PublicServant - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    Not knowing what governing means is much worse.

  28. - A guy - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    We’re a bit beyond a fire here. Pants are exploding.

  29. - Langhorne - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    A couple days ago i received a lengthy rauner fundraising letter that included the madigan lunch conversation, ala, mjm my only goal is maintaining power, and rauner wanting to spit up. I think thats the biggest lie of all.

  30. - 37B - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 3:33 pm:

    Pants aflame, Rauner hops into his Trooper II with his wife Morgan Fairchild and tries to figure out his home address for voting purposes.

  31. - XDNR - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 8:38 pm:

    Well Madigan lead him to believe that his Carhartts were fire proof so what do you expect. It’s time for Rauner to hang up his chared pants and mosey on down the road.

  32. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 16, 18 @ 9:35 am:

    When Ives announced I saw her as a real contender.

    These ads exist because the naysayers back then have discovered that their earlier snickerings about her chances were wrong.

    I still don’t feel that she’ll win, but I won’t be surprised if he actually does.

    Rauner showed ILGOP that losing an election isn’t as bad as winning one with him as governor. He has completely blown up ILGOP and has made ILGOP reforms and ideas toxic. A bad governor from the minority party kills.

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