At the Kemp Forum last Friday, Governor Bruce Rauner was given a golden opportunity to break his silence on President Donald Trump and show the people of Illinois that he would stand up for them. Instead, he praised Trump’s policies. Rauner was asked how the president was doing and said “I applaud” the Republicans’ middle-class tax hike and his regulatory policies.
CHARLES THOMAS: “But – because you haven’t gone very much, haven’t talked about it very much during your time in office. But, how’s Donald Trump doing?”
BRUCE RAUNER: “Um, so. The president is somebody that I work with. Just, I work with President Trump just as I did with President Obama. My job is to work with the White House and in Congress to make sure that the people of Illinois, the best interests of our state are represented in the actions coming in Washington. I applaud what the White House and Congress have done to cut taxes. The tax cut has led to more jobs, higher incomes, higher pay, and more economic opportunity and I applaud that, that was great progress. I also applaud the regulatory relief that the Trump administration is bringing. They’re cutting red tape, reducing regulations, encouraging free enterprise, and I applaud that. I think that’s a great step in the right direction. Some of the tactics being used in our trade negotiations – we’ll see whether they work, I’m not in a position to comment.”
Rauner’s been notably silent on Donald Trump’s presidency. He failed to stand up for the 42,000 Illinois DACA recipients facing deportation, never lifted a finger while the administration rolled back environmental protections, and refused to fight Republican attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
“Bruce Rauner’s gone from silently supportive of President Trump to openly embracing his policies,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Illinois families can be certain now that Rauner is never going to protect them from Donald Trump’s destructive politics.”
“Openly embracing” Trump’s policies? Seems like a stretch.
The DGA’s video clip is here. The full video is here.
* More from the forum…
Um, procurement reform wasn’t one of his original 44 points. And, apparently, it’s still broken.
* And one more bit from the forum…
Rauner blamed his nemesis House Speaker Michael Madigan for Illinois’ problems. And the governor called on every candidate for the House this year to pledge the following.
“We want every member of the General Assembly who is running for the House of Representatives — which controls the budget making process and the spending process — we’re asking them to sign a promise to you and all the people of Illinois. Sign a promise. Don’t just talk about it. Don’t pretend. Sign a promise right in front of a TV camera or in front of an editorial board,” Rauner said. “I promise to vote to put term limits on the ballot. … The second promise is I promise to vote for somebody, anybody, other than Mike Madigan to be Speaker after 35 years.”
*** UPDATE *** Pritzker campaign…
Trailing Donald Trump’s approval rating in Illinois, Bruce Rauner is applauding his partner in Washington and taking a page out of the Trump playbook with his trademark tactic of attacking the media.
At the Kemp Forum on Friday, Rauner responded to a question about Illinois’ image under his failed leadership with a Trumpian line: “Don’t get me started on the bias in the media.” Later, the failed governor applauded the failed president for passing a devastating tax bill and rolling back Obama-era consumer protections — after initially being wary of even saying Trump’s name.
“Donald Trump is more popular than Bruce Rauner in Illinois, so it’s no wonder this failed governor is applauding his friend in Washington and copying his divisive tactics,” said Pritzker campaign spokesman Jason Rubin.
The video clip is here.