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Question of the day

Friday, Sep 7, 2018

* The Chicago Tribune editorial board asks “Why is J.B. Pritzker ducking this debate?”

Fifteen weeks ago, we offered the first of our 11 invitations to the campaign of J.B. Pritzker. Would he join Gov. Bruce Rauner and other candidates for governor in a spirited discussion with the Tribune Editorial Board?

We would host and livestream the session because voters by the thousands find that useful. Rank-and-file Illinoisans submit questions, including smart ones that previously haven’t been asked. We put some of those questions to the candidates.

Representatives of Republican Bruce Rauner, Conservative Sam McCann and Libertarian Kash Jackson agreed to meet. But the Pritzker campaign was mysteriously silent.

Pritzker has agreed to three more structured debates. Why wouldn’t he want a less formal give-and-take like the Tribune debate that he joined, and seemed to enjoy, before the March 20 primary? Illinois is a big state; we wondered if he’d be hundreds of miles away from Chicago on Friday, Sept. 14, the date we had worked out with other campaigns. No, it turns out Pritzker will be here in Chicago, before our 11 a.m. session, at a City Club event a mile away.

* The Question: Your own proposed answer to the Tribune?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    Beacause the Chicago Tribune is a failing newspaper run by failures supporting a failed governor.

  2. - Joe M - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    The Tribune Editorial Board is hardly neutral ground. They might as well have the debates at Rauner’s house if they are going to be at the Tribune.

  3. - slow down - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    Because the Chicago Tribune editorial board is not nearly as important as it thinks it is, and has proven itself to be in the bag for Rauner without regard for Rauner’s actual performance as governor.

  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    Dear Tronclodytes,

    I’m just not into you.

    Don’t despair. I’m sure you’ll find some reactionary, willfully ignorant hysteric down the road to fill your days happily in search of grievances.

    Please don’t call me anymore.



  5. - Keyrock - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    Because Madigan?

  6. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    Because I am way ahead, you will never endorse me, I don’t need the agrivation and because I will win without you

  7. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    When you are way up in the polls, why would a candidate ever submit to questions from an editorial boards that has been pretty hardcore pro-Rauner regardless of the facts? There is zero reason to do so. Only downside. You did it to yourselves and you are not able to be seen as anything resembling a neutral forum.

  8. - Rabid - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    Illegal blago tapes

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    “Thank you for the invitation. Like with all campaigns, invitations to forums and debates are sent, we look at those with great respect. Campaigns make decisions on where and when they are going to debate and we’ve decided our schedule of places, and forums. Thank you.”

  10. - Texas Red - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    “a mile away”

    A miss is as good as a mile. JB is in a marathon not a mile sprint

  11. - A Jack - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    Because they endorsed Kennedy who only won one county in the state of Illinois? So the Tribune editorial board is totally out of touch with the voters of Illinois.

  12. - Math(usually)Doesn’tLie - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    “Would he join Gov. Bruce Rauner and other candidates for governor in a spirited distortion with the Tribune Editorial Board?” There — fixed it for ya.

  13. - Perrid - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    As others have said, because everyone knows the Tribune is toxically conservative and, at least in my opinion, likely to throw relatively softballs to Rauner and hardballs to Pritzker. Maybe I’m wrong and they can control themselves more than I give them credit for, but I doubt it.

    To a large degree that shouldn’t matter, politicians should be willing and able to field tough questions, but if the question is why would he want to dodge this, there it is. The Tribune editorial board has shot themselves in the foot with their reputation.

  14. - Al - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    Jeanne Ives

  15. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    “Tribune: I decline due to your failure to agree not to ask me details regarding my proposed plan for progressive income tax rates during the debate”.

  16. - OneMan - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    Because they might ask for details about what his tax plan will actually entail and how it will work and what happens until the state constitution is amended and what happens if amending it fails…

    But yeah stick with ‘the because it is the Trib’ reasoning…

  17. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    “Rank-and-file Illinoisans submit questions, including smart ones…”

    JB will only participate in debates offering dumb questions. /s

  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    At this point after the leaked tapes, and Pritzker’s Crew openly admitting they dunno if there are any more out there, it would be gross malpractice for Pritzker to attend.

    No way, no how.


    Plus… Pritzker ain’t gettin’ no endorsement.

    No way, no how.


    A waste of time for Pritzker.

  19. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    Thanks Troncsters but your endorsement of Rauner has already leaked so why would I bother.

  20. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    Golly, I really appreciate the invite but do I look like a pin cushion? Do I look like a punching bag? Do I look like an idiot? So yea, thanks for the invite. But no.

  21. - OneMan - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    But yeah I am with Willy here, no win in this for Pritzker…

    I hope all this faith that the next billionaire without any elected experience is going to much better than the last one is well placed.

  22. - Henry Francis - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    JB will send in his place Richard Goldberg for your sham debate. (Ask Bruce, he knows what this means)

  23. - Al - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    I decline to show up at your sham interview which is nothing more than a set up to create Rauner attack advertisements. I remember what happened to Jeanne Ives.

  24. - Rabid - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Dont want to take time fom Bruce and Sam

  25. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    Dear Tribune Edit Board,
    I’m sure you’ll be able to prop up Bruce Rauner just fine without me.
    You can dismiss with the formalities and just go ahead and endorse him.

  26. - NIU Grad - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:25 pm:

    I get where everyone is coming from in that he would have to answer some hard, if not biased questions from the Editorial Board, but I can’t say I respect this move. If you’re confident in yourself as a candidate, you go into tough environments and swing back at punches. If he can’t handle an unfriendly debate (or even a few press conferences…), how can anyone trust him to take on difficult decisions as Governor?

  27. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===If he can’t handle an unfriendly debate (or even a few press conferences…), how can anyone trust him to take on difficult decisions as Governor?==

    Pritzker is doing 3.

    You think those will be cake walks?

    I doubt that.

  28. - kittty - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    No reply. The Tribune is reliably pro-Rauner, arguably more so than any publication in IL other than the ultra right leaning and reactionary C-U News-Gazette, which is equally out of touch with its readership.

  29. - Real - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Because for the past 4 years the Tribune has been an extension of the Rauner campaign.

  30. - strawman - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    ummm….because I don’t have to, that’s why.

  31. - Montrose - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    “Because they might ask for details about what his tax plan will actually entail”

    Did JB get some commitment that the moderators won’t bring that up at the debates he has agreed to? I didn’t think so. If avoiding that question drove his decision making, he wouldn’t leave the house.

  32. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    Pritzker is within his rights to say no to this invitation. Can’t really fault him given the treatment of the editorial board. If he is a no show and there are consequences as a result he’ll have to live with them. 5-10 years ago this might have been a big issue. With the lack of influence and circulation of newspapers these days I don’t know if it really matters.

  33. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    Dear Tribune editorial board,

    Are you still in Chicago? Why haven’t you relocated to Indiana, your economic paradise? If you need help leaving Illinois, I’ll be more than happy to help—financially, of course. Do I look like I’ve ever lifted a finger to do manual labor? But at least I don’t pretend I’m your working class neighbor, like Mr. Diva (our governor) and his many costume changes.

  34. - Smitty Irving - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    “Because your Editorial Board includes a person who was so giddy at the prospect of having post-Katrina like powers used in Chicago she ‘metaphorically’ wished for the death of approximately 20 thousand Chicagoans.

  35. - A Jack - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    Because if your viewership is anything like your readership, then it would be a waste of time debating in front of about five people.

  36. - VanillaMan - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    We will happily take into consideration an appearance with you should JB’s schedule opens up and permits it.


  37. - Moody's Blues - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:44 pm:

    Keep reading the editorial and we’re reminded,

    “You’d think that if any candidate for governor frets about a Tribune grilling, it’s Rauner. His editorial board debate here with fellow Republican Jeanne Ives was widely viewed as a disaster for him, and that primary race turned out to be much tighter than anyone anticipated.
    Yet Rauner will come to the Tribune, and Pritzker will not…. Even Rod Blagojevich, who grew so angry with Tribune editorials that he’s on FBI wiretaps trying to get our editorial board fired, had the moxie to show up and gamely answer every question.”

  38. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    Dear Friend,

    Thank you for your recent invitation. J.B. is pleased and honored that you wish to include him in this event. However, previous commitments make it impossible for him to join you.

    Please accept our regrets and our sincere best wishes for a successful event.


    Scheduling Intern

  39. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    @FakeStatehouseChick - I find myself wishing for a storm in this race for Governor — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping campaign, forced onto the rooftops. #LevelHeaded

  40. - Bias - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    Because the Tribune loves Rauner.

  41. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    The “right wing” editorial page of the Chicago Tribune’s last Republican endorsement for President was in 2004.

    Governor Rauner was frequently on NPR for live call in shows, hardly his base.

    JB is already measuring the drapes and sees no need to reach out to independents and those who agree Mike Madigan is the reason Illinois politics is so dysfunctional.

  42. - don the legend - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    “I’ll debate at the Tribune as long as Rauner debates at Local 150.”

  43. - yinn - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    “Bite me.”

  44. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    –JB will send in his place Richard Goldberg for your sham debate.==

    Way good.


    Scheduling Intern–

    Also way good.

  45. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    No matter what he says or what he does you aren’t endorsing him. Rauner could literally shoot someone on Michigan Avenue in front of old Tribune offices and Tronc wouldn’t endorse him.
    Jeanne ives crushed Bruce Rauner in their tribune debate. Absolutely demolished, Kass article was brutal at how inept the Governor looked compared to her. Yet the tribune already had it’s mind made up and went for Bruce.
    Why should anyone subject themselves to a group of “journalists” who think they are unbiased but we already have the proof from the primary.
    Trib deserves nothing

  46. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Until they did themselves of Mass O see no reason to take them seriously.

  47. - Colin O'Scopy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    Pritzker’s real reason: When your opponent is self-immolating, it’s best to just get out of his way.

  48. - Arsenal - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    Because any “less formal give-and-take” with Kash Jackson is probably going to devolve into a screaming match, especially if it’s moderated by the Trib.

  49. - western observeration - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:38 pm:

    ==JB will send in his place Richard Goldberg for your sham debate.==

    JB should invite Goldberg to be a special guest in first row at first televised debate.

  50. - Arsenal - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==Governor Rauner was frequently on NPR for live call in shows, hardly his base.==

    Oh man, LP, I love that you picked this as an example, because let’s go into the way back machine and see how that ended…

  51. - Steve - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:52 pm:

    “Thank you Chicago Tribune. I’m here to win an election. I have northern Illinois sewn up. Everyone knows Rauner’s record. This is an election on whether you want 4 more years of Rauner. I will win a majority of Tribune paying customers with or without your endorsement.”

  52. - Wensicia - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    JB’s more likely to get an endorsement over Rauner from the Illinois Policy Institute, not the Tribune. Why bother?

  53. - allknowingmasterofraccoondom - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    Just Do It.

  54. - Jefferson - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:49 pm:

    poor katrina.. now she can not interrupt any of the candidates while they talk. the trib is so yesterday.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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