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Irvin bats away, ignores questions

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022

* Politico

Republican governor candidate Richard Irvin took questions yesterday from reporters for six minutes, during which he swerved here and there, turning his answers into attacks on Gov. JB Pritzker or Republican opponents.

Asked why his ads promote his work as a prosecutor but fail to mention defending people accused of the kind of crimes he says he’s tough on, Irvin said he has “a unique perspective to address crime” and that opponents won’t talk about his time spent serving his country or as a mayor. (See what he did there?)

Pressed a few times for a better answer, he said, “the foundation of our country says every person is innocent until proven guilty. But until then, the Constitution says everyone deserves the best defense possible.”

* And good for Shia, who repeatedly demanded that Irvin answer Dave Dahl’s question about being a defense attorney when Irvin went on a long ramble

Well, I’ve been a prosecutor first part of my career. And there’s a saying, once a prosecutor always a prosecutor. The fact is, I have a unique perspective, throughout my whole career as a lawyer to be able to address crime and stop it. Now, what a lot of my opponents won’t talk about is my time serving our country. You know, as as someone who served the country’s war. [”But, mayor, you didn’t answer his question.”] Hold on one second, hold the, hold on one second. But they won’t talk about my opponents. They won’t talk about the fact that you know, I’ve actually been a prosecutor that worked along the police side-by-side making a difference in our community. They won’t talk about my time as mayor with proven results of getting things done now. [”But mayor, answer his question.” “You’re a defense attorney…”] Well, listen, this is the United States of America. Most of us believe in the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Illinois, that says the foundation of our of our country is that every person is innocent ’til proven guilty. And once they’re found guilty, they get sentenced and go to jail, and rightfully so. [Reporters try to ask follow-ups.] But until then, but, but until then, the Constitution says it’s the bedrock of our country that everybody deserves the best the best events they can possibly get. But my time is the processor is what makes me uniquely, uniquely uniquely capable of addressing crime in our state. I’ve done it in my city by reducing crime, and I’ll do it in the state of Illinois

* Irvin went on another long ramble when asked whether he’d say which Democrats he’s voted for. “That’s exactly what JB Pritzker wants to be talking about,” he said, using his standard line. I pointed out that Irvin’s own campaign was claiming that Bailey had voted for Barack Obama. He ignored me.

* Remember this from Irvin’s campaign kickoff video?...

Richard Baxter Irvin was born a slave, but he dreamed of being free. Eventually, he lived that dream, following it to the land of the man who made it possible.

He found opportunity here as a mason, helping build his community, brick by brick. Some are still here. He built a legacy I stand on today. I don’t just share the name Richard Irvin. I share his dream of what Illinois could be, where a growing economy provides ladders of opportunity for anyone willing to work. Where families are safe. Where kids are educated, not indoctrinated.

I asked him why he thinks kids are being indoctrinated

What I said is students should not be indoctrinated and that parents should have a voice in their education in the state of Illinois. We should make sure that we give parents the opportunity to to participate in their youth’s education.

Hannah Meisel quickly followed up by asking if he thought kids were being indoctrinated. Irvin ignored her question.

* Irvin is quite disciplined about ignoring questions and saying only what he wants to say. For instance, check out this exchange from a WGN Radio appearance last week. He was asked a simple question four times and never once answered it

Q: Is [Ken Griffin] offering more than money? I mean, are there advisors that have come with this or different sorts of advice, or was it strictly a campaign contribution? I guess, you know, is there more cooperation than just the funding?

A: Listen, you know, Ken Griffin, I appreciate his support, as I appreciate the support of anyone that will donate and folks that have donated to my campaign since I announced only a month and two weeks ago, a month and a half ago. And since then, we have created so much excitement in this race and we’ve been traveling all throughout the state talking to our residents and they tell us they want someone like me that can fight against the taxes and spending that’s out of control, can fight against the crime that’s out of control, fight against the corruption that’s out of control. And based on my record, you know, I’m the best person to do that and the best person to beat JB Pritzker when we get to the general and…

Q: I understand, you made that point. But my question was did the Citadel, the Griffin money come with advisors, advice, any other cooperation or was it strictly just the contribution?

A: Listen, as I said, any contribution that I’ve got, whether from Ken Griffin or anyone else, is because they believe that…

Q: Mr. Mayor, I understand that and he clearly does believe in you. He’s giving you a lot of money. But I’ve asked my question a couple of times here. Is there anything more than just the check?

A: As I said, I’ve answered it a number of times…

Q: I didn’t hear the answer. Okay, so there’s nothing other than the check.

A: They, they believe, they believe in my agenda. There are no strings to anything other than pushing forward the agenda of Richard Irvin, taking the state to the next level, returning us to the true Land of Lincoln and putting pride back in Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:43 am:

    Not gonna do anything to help fight the perception that he’s afraid of answering questions.


  2. - TheInvisibileMan - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:44 am:

    == I appreciate the support of anyone that will donate ==

    Well… that’s probably not a good thing to say out loud.

    Someone should probably tell him he can refuse donations from people, before Arthur Jones donates to him.

    Or not. Whatever.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:45 am:

    ===Irvin is quite disciplined about ignoring questions and saying only what he wants to say.===

    It’s Bruce Rauner, but with a record and without the luxury of being an empty vessel of policy or “record”

    If Irvin starts wearing costumes…


  4. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:46 am:

    Could he possibly have talked any faster? Nervous nelly. Not ready for prime time.


  5. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    ==It’s Bruce Rauner, but with a record and without the luxury of being an empty vessel of policy or “record”==

    Circa 2014, Rauner was also a little better at making you think he *did* answer your question.


  6. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:48 am:

    “Hold on one second, hold the, hold on one second.”

    AKA as “Focus is a good thing.” /s


  7. - Lord of the Fries - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:48 am:

    Him dodging questions isnt the issue, every politician does it and what he’s doing is not giving his opposition soundbites to use against him in ads etc.

    The issue is the content which fuels the questions, because he’s never going to answer them (because he doesnt have good answers) gives relevancy to the substance of the questions. Make sense?


  8. - Google Is Your Friend - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:49 am:

    =once a prosecutor always a prosecutor.==

    Did he do his duty to his clients as a defense attorney? Looks like he did not, by his own words.


  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:49 am:

    ===It’s Bruce Rauner===

    Not quite. Rauner would lie when the truth would easily suffice. Irvin endlessly dodges when a straight answer would be fine.


  10. - JoanP - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    = But until then, the Constitution says everyone deserves the best defense possible. =

    Until when?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    ===Not quite. Rauner would lie … Irvin endlessly dodges when a straight answer would be fine.===

    Rauner found it easier to lie.

    It seems that Irvin “can’t lie”, but dodges to purposely *not* lie?

    Goodness.


  12. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    “Irvin endlessly dodges when a straight answer would be fine.”

    Oh great, he’s not Bruce Rauner, he’s Pat Quinn.


  13. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    “And there’s a saying, once a prosecutor always a prosecutor.”

    You say that like it’s a good thing.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    ===he’s Pat Quinn.===

    Mike Z with “Pat Quinn” in a GOP Primary… with Griffin’s cash?

    Who says this won’t be fun.


  15. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    =once a prosecutor always a prosecutor.==

    This isn’t really a saying, btw. The prosecutor to defense attorney move is entirely common.

    ==Irvin endlessly dodges when a straight answer would be fine. ==

    Again, I really question his political instincts. “I voted for Trump for President” is the obviously easier answer for any Republican.


  16. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    Methinks Griffin’s picker is broke.


  17. - Montrose - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    His dodge of every question is super annoying, but I have to give him credit on message discipline. He and his people know that anything off message can and will be jumped on by the media and JB. We’ll see if he can keep this up for eight months (assuming he is the Republican nominee).


  18. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    Don’t know how Independents will view this slipperiness, but Republicans will vote for anybody with an R behind their name. We’ve already seen that.

    If there’s a debate with Pritzker, this routine isn’t going to cut it.


  19. - H-W - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    All that, in six minutes.


  20. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:23 am:

    Why won’t Mr. Law and Order who stands up to not just ordinary thugs, but “criminal thugs,” answer east questions on which Democrat he voted for?

    The dude crosses his arms and mugs a tough face for commercials but won’t answer if he is regurgitating Griffin talking points. If he wasn’t, he’d probably be glad to say so, but in the words of Ralph Kramden: humina, humina, humina.

    The constant evasion says enough.


  21. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:26 am:

    Guessin’that went well — not
    Perhaps ‘Riffie & RichieRich should do little more media prep before venturing out? Maybe they should let Everybody’s Favorite do the Q&A.
    Maybe next time the press could quiz RichieRich about ‘Riffie’s last foray — using the Confessed Congressman to trash Kilbride. That was a top drawer classy effort the Blank Slate ticket consultants fashioned.


  22. - very old soil - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    == I appreciate the support of anyone that will donate ==
    Which of his opponents will be the first to “arrange ” a donation from the Illinois Chapter of the DSA?


  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:37 am:

    ===All that, in six minutes===

    Right?


  24. - left of what - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:42 am:

    None of these candidates are ready for prime time. Bailey is going to be the candidate. There is no substantive difference between any of these people and he at least seems to have the most support from actual primary voters.


  25. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:46 am:

    …If Irvin starts wearing costumes…
    I can’t wait for that.
    Think he can still fit in his old uniform?


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:47 am:

    ===Bailey is going to be the candidate===

    A crowded field makes it more difficult for Bailey…

    … Bailey may get help from other places too, those who’d like Bailey to win… but it’s wide open. I’m gonna wait for a first poll in mid-April


  27. - Jocko - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:49 am:

    ==Well, listen, this is the United States of America.==

    Maybe it’s me, but Irvin’s impression of Otter (from Animal House)_needs some work.


  28. - vern - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 11:57 am:

    === Irvin is quite disciplined about ignoring questions and saying only what he wants to say. ===

    I agree with this, but there’s a companion element that he’s missing. Lots of politicians have the same skill, but reporters tend not to fixate on it because good politicians pivot with confidence and charm. Not answering questions is relatively easy, doing it with finesse is the expert-level version.

    I don’t see that from Irvin. He’s audibly uncomfortable changing the subject. His transitions sound more like mantras to remind himself why he shouldn’t answer the question, especially “that’s what Pritzker wants to talk about.” He’s still fighting his instincts to answer questions like a normal human. His inability to hide his work draws attention to the weak spots in that work. Pivoting to stay on message doesn’t have a lot of value if the media is reporting the pivots instead of the message.


  29. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:03 pm:

    ==Bailey is going to be the candidate==

    I’m not ready to say this yet, but I do think I’ve personally been underrating his chances a bit lately.


  30. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:06 pm:

    There is such a thing as being a career prosecutor. That way you don’t have to be nostalgic about a five-year stint 20 years ago.


  31. - left of what - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===A crowded field makes it more difficult for Bailey…===

    How so? The more likely scenario is all the low-tier candidates split the non-Bailey vote and make it easier for him to get a plurality. Bailey is the only one with any kind of real name ID and grassroots support. This is the Trump 2016 primary scenario.


  32. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:10 pm:

    == the foundation of our country says every person is innocent until proven guilty== - Irwin

    Does that apply to Mike Madigan as well?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===How so?===

    Sullivan, Rabine, and Schimpf are all fishing off the same pier, Rabine has his own “Trump bona fides” that will be highlighted.

    Irvin stands alone, needs his 32-37% with tens of millions to find it… while 63% may not vote his way.

    See me in mid-April after a poll is done


  34. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:16 pm:

    Or Tim Mapes? Yeah, tell us about the rights of the accused, Counselor Irwin.

    Maybe mention this to Jim Durkin when he goes on and on about corruption. The same “hand picked” (by Madigan) back in the day committee chair Durkin


  35. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:20 pm:

    =worked along the police side-by-side=

    When does he get asked to provide evidence of this little ditty?

    =We should make sure that we give parents the opportunity to to participate in their youth’s education.=

    Interesting little canard. Since when did we stop allowing parents to participate in their youth’s (or is it ute’s?) education? Please be specific because I talk to parents all of the time and we are usually begging for involvement.


  36. - left of what - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===Sullivan, Rabine, and Schimpf are all fishing off the same pier===

    See, I would add Irvin into this group also. He does not stand out in any meaningful way beyond people in Springfield know who Bourne is.

    ===See me in mid-April after a poll is done===

    I promise to eat my crow if I’m wrong.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===He does not stand out in any meaningful way beyond people in Springfield know who Bourne is.===

    Now add $20 million, “today”, and at least an additional $20 million (and likely more) going forward.

    How well known was Rauner in that crowded field he defeated… with real names too.

    No crow to eat, it just early.


  38. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    ==Sullivan, Rabine, and Schimpf are all fishing off the same pier==

    Frankly, so is Irvin. He may be counting on his profile to secure his “moderate” cred, but everything he’s running on right now is True Conservative stuff.

    The thing is, with Griffin’s cash, he might just be able to flood the zone and steal the True Conservatives away from Bailey.


  39. - sal-says - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:37 pm:

    == returning us to the true Land of Lincoln and putting pride back in Illinois. ==

    Irvin musta missed that the point was reached at the conclusion of Non-Gov Ruiners stint.


  40. - Norseman - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    === worked along the police side-by-side ===

    Probably never speaking about a general policing issue other than information that may relate to the prosecution of the case at hand.


  41. - Rudy’s teeth - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 1:01 pm:

    So far Bailey steps on his soapbox, rambles on, and won’t answer questions. Then Irvin takes questions, pivots, and won’t answer questions. Not impressed with either candidate.

    The ham and cheese presentation will not sway voters to either of these two candidates.


  42. - frustrated GOP - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 1:15 pm:

    I have a question to ask, did crime drop in Aurora because he became mayor, or because he was no longer a criminal defense atty?


  43. - G'Kar - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 1:22 pm:

    I listen to the interview and did Irvin just leave at the 10 minute mark? Did he say he would only be available for 10 minutes? Also, he really stayed on message–I thought I was listening to a continuing loop with him constantly saying “I’m a combat vet, prosecuting attorney, and mayor who got things done.” Lather, rinse, and repeat.


  44. - Primate - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    Well, he sure has an issue with the truth. It is simple. If you pull a republican ballot just tote for a republican. Obviously, Irvin is not.


  45. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 1:44 pm:

    Listened to the entire interview with everyone. And its shocking how un-informed they all sound. But they aren’t here to really answer questions, its a soundbite and meme world now and they think its the way to win.

    Teresi really sounds out of touch as to what the real financial situation is currently in the state .


  46. - Nick - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 2:17 pm:

    This may be rude but while Irvin’s ads are very sleek and well crafted

    The candidate himself just… doesn’t seem ready for prime time, yet.


  47. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 2:21 pm:

    =Probably never speaking about a general policing issue other than information that may relate to the prosecution of the case at hand.=

    Agreed, but is that what he is trying to portray or is he exaggerating? To me it sounds like he was out there taking down targets or at least that is what he wants people to think. Parsing words I guess.


  48. - Rudy’s teeth - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 2:28 pm:

    Irvin might spend some of Griffin’s bucks on a public speaking coach. Irvin’s speech in his commercials lacks timing, pace, tone and tenor.

    With all the bucks available, one would expect a better result.


  49. - Primate - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 4:59 pm:

    Sorry. Meant vote. The answer to WGN’s question is: Well, I also got this team from Rauner who control everything I say. I am not supposed to talk about them though.


  50. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 8, 22 @ 4:59 pm:

    == Irvin might spend some of Griffin’s bucks on a public speaking coach.==.

    I thought the exact same thing. W all that cash, they should have him prepped better.


  51. - Unconventional wisdom - Thursday, Mar 24, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    Over a period of time Irwin will increasingly lose all credibility if he does not specific, give detailed answers on this subject.

    If he can full explain what exactly he means it may help him. But this is A DEM state and even if he does get the nomination he will go down big time if he acts like this.


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