* I asked Rep. Jeanne Ives’ campaign spokesperson today if her candidate and Gov. Rauner have spoken since the primary election. “They have not,” she replied.
The DGA has been persistently trolling Rauner about this while I was on break. From March 26th…
6 Days of Silence: Rauner and Ives Won’t Talk… But Maybe They Text?
It’s been six days since Governor Bruce Rauner was thoroughly embarrassed by state Representative Jeanne Ives, who earned 48% of the Republican primary vote. Despite Rauner’s obvious need to patch things up with his primary opponent, the two have not spoken since the election. In fact, Ives spent most of last week trashing the wounded governor even more.
Rauner said he has not spoken with Ives, but maybe he tried to reach her via text. It probably went something like this:
“Bruce Rauner’s lies and betrayals divided the Republican Party so badly that his primary opponent refuses to speak with him,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner’s failed leadership turned away Democrats and Independents, and now 48% of Republican voters. With no accomplishments and no supporters, Rauner truly is the most vulnerable incumbent in the nation.”
* March 27th…
Day 7: Rauner’s Latest Failure - Reuniting His Party
GOP Members Keeping Their Distance from Rauner, Local Activists Talking Third Party
One week ago, over 48% of Republican primary voters rejected Governor Bruce Rauner and voted to replace him on the ballot. Rauner’s embarrassing “win” showed just how extraordinarily weak and vulnerable the incumbent governor is, and how far he has to go to reunite the Republican Party.
One week later, Rauner’s reunion tour is not going well. State Representative Jeanne Ives still will neither endorse nor speak with the Governor, and many Ives’ supporters are not falling in line:
State Rep. Allen Skillicorn: “State Rep. Allen Skillicorn said he wouldn’t support Rauner. ‘Absolutely not,’ he said. ‘His campaign was dishonest and dishonorable.’”
State Rep. Steve Reick: “He should be humbled – he should’ve lost. Honor? Calling Jeanne Ives ‘Madigan’s favorite Republican’ may have swayed enough people to put him over the top, but the smell it leaves behind is the smell of mendacity, and it will carry through to November.”
State Rep. David McSweeney: “The question at this point is whether Bruce Rauner wants conservative support. That really is a question. Obviously, he did a number of things, including the tax hike, the SB31 – the immigration bill, sanctuary state bill. And also, the taxpayer funding for abortion, HB40, that angered conservatives. And it’s really unclear at this point if he wants conservative support. He’s going to have to ask for conservative support. He’s going to have to acknowledge some mistakes and just focus on going forward.”
Saline County precinct committeeman Sandra Smith: “For Smith, this fall will almost be a moment of protest. ‘I choose to stand up for those conservative values,’ she said, adding that she may have to find alternatives for her vote … ‘I don’t see reconciliation in any form or fashion (for the party) because this is the breaking point … I personally don’t know that I will vote for Rauner,’ Smith said.”
Patti Howard, president of the Williamson County Republican Women of Southern Illinois: “‘It’s going to be harder to bring everyone back together’ … Howard said Republicans this fall will be faced with a series of questions. ‘Am I going to go with the party even if I don’t agree with the man, or am I going to sit out and not vote or am I going to go with a third party?’ she said.”
“After Bruce Rauner lied to and betrayed Republicans, it’s no surprise that they are unwilling to embrace him again,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Republicans made clear that Rauner failed them, and his refusal to reach out to Jeanne Ives and her supporters is just making a bad situation worse.”
* March 29th…
Day 9 - #TBT: Four Years Ago, Rauner Had Unity Luncheon the Day After Primary Election
Today, Rauner Still Has Not Spoken with Ives, Even Though She Received 48% of the Primary Vote
It’s now been 9 days since Governor Bruce Rauner was nearly rejected by Republican primary voters, but he still has not spoken with his primary opponent, state Representative Jeanne Ives. Republican State Representative David McSweeney lamented yesterday that “Democrats have already had a unity breakfast” and he did not know “where things stand on the Governor reaching out to conservatives and asking for support.”
Four years ago, it was a different story. The Illinois Republican Party held a unity luncheon the day after Rauner’s 2014 primary win where he focused on an “economic agenda and soft-pedaling social issues such as abortion.” Today, Rauner is still trying to unite the party by downplaying social issues, except this time Republicans aren’t buying it.
“It’s been nine days since the election, and Bruce Rauner has still not held a unity rally or reached out to the 48% of Republicans that voted to oust him,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner’s campaign is in real trouble – with rock-bottom approval ratings and a fractured party behind him, his decision to ignore Jeanne Ives and her supporters is perplexing. Is Rauner just worried no one will come if he throws a party?”
* March 30th…
Day 10: If Sox and Cubs Fans Can Get Along, Why Can’t Rauner And Ives?
Today marks the 10th day since the Republican primary election, and in that time, Governor Bruce Rauner and state Representative Jeanne Ives still have not spoken. Ives’ running-mate even agreed there was “no love lost” between the two camps, and Rauner has failed to reach out to Ives or the 48% of Republicans that voted against him.
Maybe they should take a lesson from Sox and Cubs fans, who are united in celebrating their Opening Day victories. While both sides play up their storied rivalry, many Sox fans openly cheered on the Cubs during the 2016 World Series, including Chance, Common, and President Obama. Some Cubs fans even crossed partisan lines to cheer on the Sox during their historic 2005 World Series win (though not exactly with the same enthusiasm).
“If Sox and Cubs fans can get along sometimes, why can’t Bruce Rauner and Jeanne Ives?” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “It’s clear that Rauner’s failures and lies turned off Ives fans, but if he ever wants Republicans to cheer him on again, he’ll stop ignoring the 48% of primary voters who opposed him.”
Frankly, they’re acting more like Cubs and Cardinals fans than anything else.
I would hotly dispute the notion that Sox and Cub fans are united, however.
Day 13: Rauner and Ives Feud Moves into Second Month
It’s no April Fool’s joke – Governor Bruce Rauner’s and state Representative Jeanne Ives’ GOP feud is moving into its second month. Thirteen days ago, Ives nearly knocked off the incumbent Rauner by running a primary campaign on his dishonesty and management failures.
Now, the calendar turns to April and Rauner has still not spoken with Ives or earned the trust of her supporters. Last week, Ives demanded Rauner run ads apologizing for his dishonesty before she would endorse him. And Ives’ supporters do not sound like they are happy with Rauner’s minimal efforts of reconciliation.
“The longer Bruce Rauner lets his feud with Jeanne Ives fester, the harder it will be to bring his divided party back together,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “With his rock-bottom approval ratings, Rauner’s already damaging his failing re-election campaign by allowing this battle to enter its second month.”