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Irvin, campaign irritated that reporters dared interrupt multiple candidate filibusters

Monday, May 9, 2022

* By my count, Richard Irvin said “Let me finish!” to reporters 18 times in about 10 minutes. Let’s take a look at one representative example. After refusing to answer pretty much every question, and dodging some direct questions about whether he’d voted for Trump and whether he would vote for Trump if he was the GOP’s nominee in 2024 with his usual deflection that it’s what JB Pritzker wants him to talk about, Rick Pearson tried to pin him down

Pearson: Isn’t it just a bit disingenuous to your rivals for the nomination alleging how they voted when you yourself who pulled Democratic primary ballots will not say who [you] voted for? How can you attack Darren Bailey and call him a soft on Trump, or a never Trumper? How can you attack Jesse Sullivan as a never Trumper when you yourself will not say who you voted for, if you voted voted for Donald Trump and would you vote for him again if he’s the nominee in 2024?

Irvin: Let’s just talk about records for a second. As a matter of fact, campaigns are about records matter. As I pointed out, you know, JB Pritzker, and my opponents on the Puffin side were attacking me and my record even before I formally announced but I’m not gonna fall into the trap of JB Pritzker.

Pearson: This isn’t about JB Pritzker. [Crosstalk]

Irvin: …You know, I’m not gonna fall, I’m not gonna fall into the trap of JB Pritzker talking about what he thinks we should be talking about in this campaign…

And then he went on to attack Darren Bailey over property taxes, migrant workers and mask mandates.

* Let’s move to the constant “Let me finish” refrain. After a long attempt at trying to change the subject from a question about whether there should be a federal law outlawing abortion (which would directly impact Illinois, since it has such strong abortion rights in statute), Irvin was interrupted by a reporter and said

Hold on, let me finish, let me finish, let me finish. Let me, let me, let me finish. Let me finish. Let me, let me finish. And, you know, as I said…

* As mentioned above, he was asked if he would vote for Trump in 2024. He talked about Pritzker, the Safety Act, etc., and when Mary Ann Ahern eventually grew impatient and tried to ask the question again

Let, let me finish. Just let me, let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish. You know, he, he said, he said that we should be grateful that Mike Madigan is the Speaker of the House

* While avoiding an answer to Pearson’s Trump question, Irvin began talking about how he was “offended” at Jesse Sullivan’s claim to military service, his filibustering was interrupted again

Let me finish, let me finish, so, so let me, let me just say this, also Jesse Sullivan, he advocates, advocates and supports open borders, that means he doesn’t really want there to be a United States.

The Irvin people are quite upset that reporters didn’t ask their candidate about the press conference’s topic, which was the deaths at the LaSalle Veterans Home and the Pritzker administration’s failure. But they almost never make their creation available to reporters and Irvin completely dodged commenting last week on one of the biggest issues in the entire nation and he’s been hammering away at his Republican opponents for being closet Democrats, so they had to expect that there would be some off-topic questions.

Again, this is a campaign based on a fantasy world of his opponents being secret Democrats and the only person interested in his voting record is the governor. Check out his latest TV ad, for crying out loud

And reporters apparently have finally had enough of it and want him to answer for it. This ain’t rocket science.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

71 Comments »
  1. - AC - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:19 pm:

    When Griffin’s new programming updated the “Focus, Amanda. Focus” error message it introduced a new issue where the candidate became stuck in a “Let me finish” loop. This is documented under ticket #25000000. A new software release is planned to address this issue.


  2. - vern - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    This is really good to see. The Irvin people called a press conference because they wanted reporters to show up. Reporters absolutely showed up. Irvin’s people have nothing to complain about except their candidate’s performance.

    I would be curious for more details about the Irvin folks’ reaction. Did they really think no one would ask the questions they’ve pointedly refused to answer all year?


  3. - SpiDem - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    Whelp, I think we just saw Richard Irvin’s last press conference, folks.


  4. - Red Ranger - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    That was a rough. One could argue he’s new at this, so he’ll get better as he gets more practice. However, if he doesn’t do a bunch of these, he’ll never get the practice. Plus, he’s been in the game for 10 plus years, and this is how bad he is? Oh boy. Its really hard to come across as authentic when you don’t believe the words coming out of your mouth. Meanwhile JB will stand in front of the press almost any day of the week and come across as affable and authentic. He truly does believe the words coming out of his mouth. Not a good contrast for Team Rauner Redux.


  5. - Roadrager - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:22 pm:

    What you’re seeing is the maturing and development of a candidate, moving his key message from “I think we’re done” to “Let me finish” over a mere matter of weeks. Another $100 million or so, and he’ll be able to answer a question without actually answering it.


  6. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:23 pm:

    Should have just ran to an elevator. It’s quicker.

    As for the reporters - note the dodging in your stories, and in the future you know you don’t have to show up.


  7. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    “That’s it. No more questions until election night.”


  8. - Lord of the Fries - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:25 pm:

    They knew he would get these questions so they coached him not to answer thus the filibuster.

    He’s never going to have a good answer to these questions, he’s just trying to run out the clock in the primary, then he will say he didn’t vote for Trump and is pro-choice. *campaign reset button push*


  9. - Commissar Gritty - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:27 pm:

    Not going to lie, he seems completely unhinged here. If he’s getting put on his backfoot this hard by a couple of reporters, imagine this guy trying to do something like negotiate the budget.

    I have a strong feeling he would be another Rauner. Just throw his hands up, say it’s too hard, then plunge the state into further distress through his inaction. He just looks so weak here.

    That being said, he’s still the best chance they have of unseating JB… if he can make it past the sharktank primary. If I were his opponents I’d run “He says let me finish but we say we’re finished with you” ads in the suburbs where he would probably do best.


  10. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:27 pm:

    Although Irvin’s worn the prosecutor’s as well as the criminal defense attorney’s suits, he fails miserably in press interviews.

    Irwin lacks composure in q and a sessions with reporters. Can’t Griffin’s bucks hire a speech coach for Irvin?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:28 pm:

    Ross Perot made infamous “can I finish, can I finish”

    What happened was Perot made himself a fringe candidate by refusing to engage in a real discourse expected in traditional campaigns

    Irvin has not run in a way a traditional campaign, as Rich’s own words in a post today reinforces.

    Irvin needs 34~39+% of the primary voters.

    Been dinging Bailey, Sullivan, has $25 million with 7 weeks left…

    … it’s up to Z to land the plane.

    Today likely didn’t help, but it’s a day or so news cycle, Bailey, Rabine, Sullivan can’t waste too much time or cash at this point that isn’t impactful at both raising their numbers AND also damaging Irvin.

    It’s going to be interesting, Irvin did himself not favors today.


  12. - Arsenal - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:29 pm:

    ==You know, I’m not gonna fall, I’m not gonna fall into the trap of JB Pritzker talking about what he thinks we should be talking about in this campaign==

    Dude, the jaws have snapped closed and the teeth are digging into your leg.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    Also…

    “Mayor Irvin” woulda been a better candidate than “Manufactured Irvin”

    But, the money is sweeter than honey at this point, everyone makes on this campaign.


  14. - Arsenal - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==Today likely didn’t help==

    Probably didn’t hurt in the primary, though.

    The General? Well, one election at a time.


  15. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:37 pm:

    I can see now why they want to keep him far away from a microphone.

    The pressure for him to be something he is not is really getting to him.


  16. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:38 pm:

    I realize Team Irvin has some fans and admirers within the Capitol Fax commentariat, but today’s episode does not reflect well on the campaign staff.

    You put you guy out there for the first time in forever and didn’t give him something useful to say about the most easily anticipated questions? Really?

    I guess it’s possible the reporters would stay engaged on the LaSalle Home audit and let Irvin bash Sullivan etc., but no experienced campaign operative would’ve put their candidate out in the open without ensuring that they had something concrete to say about abortion after last week.

    These guys are good at spending money, and maybe the candidate just isn’t learning, but wow. This was political malpractice on display. If you can’t prep him, keep him hidden. If you put him out there, give him something to say.

    LaSalle Veterans home? Really? SMH.


  17. - JS Mill - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    I hope the press keeps the pressure on or go straight to the source, maybe Griff will answer.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    === Probably didn’t hurt in the primary, though.

    The General? Well, one election at a time.===

    Yep.

    Even if the was “purposeful bad” to gin up anti-press feelings, to stall on questions, heck, to merely seem feisty, it was not “purposeful bad” it was “bad-bad”

    Could be nothing to the primary. It could.

    They also could hide him for the next 7 weeks, or as best they can hide him.

    Mayor Irvin woulda been a heck of a candidate with $45 million


  19. - Red Ranger - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    In terms of landing planes and one election at a time, after today, shut him down, spend $20m on TV and live to fight another day. This strategy only works because his opponents are so weak; see Sully ad in earlier post. I think we all see why the strategy has been to hide him behind semi-false tv ads. Two press events, two disasters. Irvin off-script doesn’t help him get beyond June 28th. Come June 29th, well, I got nothing…


  20. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:42 pm:

    As bad as he is, and as manufactured as his message comes across, he is leading in the polls in the primary. It won’t win in November… but at least he’ll get to the big dance.


  21. - Pundent - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:47 pm:

    Like Bruce Rauner I could see Richard Irvin doing very well, against Pat Quinn. I do think he’s a shoo-in to win the primary. Like most of us Irvin is betting against the field. Says more about the field than it does Irvin though.


  22. - Jocko - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:47 pm:

    ==campaigns are about records matter==

    Sort of. Crime/Corruption bad (exclamation point), Taxes too high (exclamation point) don’t qualify as planks in your campaign platform.


  23. - Arsenal - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:49 pm:

    ==The Irvin people are quite upset that reporters didn’t ask their candidate about the press conference’s topic, which was the deaths at the LaSalle Veterans Home and the Pritzker administration’s failure. ==

    I wonder- Pritzker did a press event last week about…uh…some boring pension bill he signed. But all the questions from the press were about LaSalle. Did Pritzker’s team get mad at the press about that?


  24. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:52 pm:

    -The Irvin people are quite upset that reporters didn’t ask their candidate about the press conference’s topic, which was the deaths at the LaSalle Veterans Home-

    If sticking to the topic is so important, attacking Bailey and Sullivan for various things doesn’t appear to be on topic either.


  25. - Suburbanon - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:53 pm:

    No prep or practice can equal the real thing when preparing a new candidate for a media feeding frenzy. Despite Irwin’s poor showing in this first encounter, the Griffin (Irwin) Camp should bring the candidate out a couple more times before he wins the primary to get some more live fire experience. He won’t be able to hide in the General.


  26. - Grandson of Man - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:55 pm:

    Totally expected. Irvin is a Raunerite—the evasion of tough questions and sticking to talking points.


  27. - ANNON'IN - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 1:59 pm:

    Yikes now we know RichieRich not a good rwader….Rep. Bourne is taller


  28. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:02 pm:

    This is a feature, not a bug, of this Raunerite campaign. They think inanimate object props + nonsense but nice sounding promises (”I won’t pardon Mike Madigan) - actual issues = political power. It’s their secret formula.


  29. - ANNON'IN - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:07 pm:

    It was good to see Rep. BOURNE remind everyone about GovJunk cover up of the Quincy deaths.


  30. - Ok - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:09 pm:

    I mean, political strategists should know by now that “at an unrelated event” is likely the most a reporter will ever refer to the topic you want them to talk about.


  31. - Ok - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    Earned media is called “earned” for a reason


  32. - Annonin' - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:19 pm:

    That look from Rep. Bourne ….”what did Tracy and those other goofs get me into? I could have walked into a 4 year Senate seat.”


  33. - Norseman - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:19 pm:

    Good to see Irvin getting the pressure he deserves for his manufactured candidacy where he looks ridiculous maintaining his manufactured silence.

    Pearson did a great job with his question. To Irvin I say, let Pearson finish his job by answering the simple question.


  34. - Norseman - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:24 pm:

    You know Irvin would look less like a soulless doofus if he was consistent with his views.

    (I was going to say if Irvin was truthful, but nowadays it’s hard to know which are the real lies.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===what did … get me into? I could have walked into a 4 year Senate seat===

    As a total aside…

    For me, I agree, in all this thought.

    Never understood the hurry, challenging a sitting billionaire governor, polling above water, losing a seat and opportunities down the road, maybe sidelining herself for a while.

    It was a head scratcher, for me.


  36. - NIU Grad - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:34 pm:

    Does Mayor Irvin really think he can serve as Governor while being completely micromanaged from the sidelines? Does he think being Governor as a Republican in Illinois is going to be easy? If this press conference annoyed him, we can expect him to hide under a rock for four years if elected.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:40 pm:

    On the bright side, I keep hearing that it’s gonna be… crime… crime is gonna be the big factor in November… not this abortion issue.

    Abortion will just fade away.


  38. - Baloneymous - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    Yes, OW, from what I’m seeing in the Deep South, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, in less than one week, makes me also think that crime will certainly be the main attraction.


  39. - Roman - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:48 pm:

    Trying to figure out if Irvin is such a bad candidate he needs to be over-handled by the Grif team or if they are simply over-handling him and making matters worse.


  40. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:49 pm:

    You’d think an attorney who worked both sides and the mayor of the second largest city in Illinois could do sommmmme riffing off the cuff.

    Only thing missing from this from this cat is a collar with Griffin’s contact info on a tag.


  41. - Tom - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:54 pm:

    This all makes for great commentating but won’t move the needle on this race. Irvin has the money to fly above the press via paid advertising. He will continue to control the message and my guess wins the primary unless something changes.


  42. - JoanP - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:54 pm:

    I don’t understand why the press would actually expect to ask questions at a press conference. /snark/


  43. - Real - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:55 pm:

    The sad reality is this type of candidate can only win on the republican side of the isle. Which is why Griffin is having him run as one. It tells you also how they view the average republican voters.


  44. - Arsenal - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:57 pm:

    ==This all makes for great commentating but won’t move the needle on this race.==

    But then there’s another race, and then actually governing, and this augers poorly for both of those, so I don’t think you’re going to convince many people to stop talking about it.


  45. - Norseman - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:57 pm:

    === riffing off the cuff ===

    The problem is that he may riff himself into an off-message comment.

    He’ll stick with his manufactured silence.


  46. - Tom - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 2:59 pm:

    Arsenal-if you are their campaign the only thing that matters is June 28th. Lots of time between now and November.


  47. - Arsenal - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:01 pm:

    ==if you are their campaign the only thing that matters is June 28th==

    But I’m not, so it isn’t.


  48. - levivotedforjudy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:01 pm:

    This is just a guess, but I’ll be that mayoral candidate Irvin looked a lot different than gubernatorial candidate Irvin. This is what being over-handled by the campaign staff looks like.


  49. - Arsenal - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:04 pm:

    Also, if the only thing that mattered to Irvin’s campaign was June 28th he wouldn’t be mad that reporters asked him about abortion, so let’s stop pretending that everything is Great News for Richard Irvin.


  50. - SAP - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:05 pm:

    I said “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” (Banned capitalization and punctuation).


  51. - Tom - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:22 pm:

    Everything will be great for Richard Irvin if he wins on June 28th. I’m not on his team but I know his team. My guess is they win.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:25 pm:

    === Everything will be great for Richard Irvin if he wins on June 28th.===

    If crime is the big issue, sure.

    Dunno if I’d say “great” given how Proft will burn down the conservatives against Irvin and abortion still an issue…

    But, “everything’s fine” is a meme used when the house around is burning down


  53. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:27 pm:

    -My guess is they win.-

    Mine too. But to what end? How do they then pivot and get 50%+1 in November against Pritzker when they turn around and have to admit everything his primary opponents said about him re abortion, Trump, BLM, etc?


  54. - Tom - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:29 pm:

    OW-time will tell but I suspect Irvin will get more black voters than the usual republican. More than Edgar got to best Hartigan. The only thing Dan Proft is successful at is spending rich guys’ money.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:31 pm:

    === I suspect Irvin will get more black voters than the usual republican.===

    That’s wonderful, now how about suburban women whom are pro-choice after SCOTUS overturns Roe?

    Bourne is unabashedly pro-life. If you didn’t know that, Pritzker will remind folks. Daily.


  56. - Excitable Boy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    Not ready for prime time. JB will mop the floor with him.


  57. - Arsenal - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    == I suspect Irvin will get more black voters than the usual republican==

    That’s certainly the goal, but so far his campaign has done none of the kind of outreach to black voters it needs to do to make that happen, and it’s not exactly something you can just turn on like a switch on June 29.


  58. - NorthsideNoMore - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 4:14 pm:

    Irvin needs suburban female votes in June, he can focus more on black voters in the fall.


  59. - JoanP - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 4:19 pm:

    = I suspect Irvin will get more black voters than the usual republican =

    It’s a low bar.


  60. - New Day - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 4:27 pm:

    Listened to it in real time. O.M.G. What a train wreck.

    You know how he could have avoided having what could have been his best hit on the governor get hijacked by unrelated questions about abortion and Donald Trump? By previously answering questions about abortion and Donald Trump. How do you expect to be the Trumper candidate when you won’t even admit you voted for Trump and plan to do so again. Oh wait, he didn’t? You mean because he’s a Democrat? Sigh.


  61. - New Day - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 4:35 pm:

    As Abraham Lincoln (or Mark Twain depending upon who you believe) once said, “Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt”

    I think Richard Irvin learned that lesson today.


  62. - macombward bound - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 5:14 pm:

    There was a question of whether Richard Irvin was prepared for a rockin’ rollin’ campaign. Asked and answered after today. Winning candidates are the disciplined candidates who can stand in against a crush like that and stay confident/focused/on message. Put your political bias aside and you’ll recognize Irvin did better than you ever expected. Pritzker campaign may be too amateurish/ideological to see it right now, but DGA likely does.


  63. - MyTwoCents - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 5:21 pm:

    The result of this press conference was entirely expected and completely self-inflicted by the Irvin campaign. This is what happens when you try to stay on message and hold a press conference. BTW, this happens at pretty much every press conference and the Irvin campaign should know better, so cry me a river.

    As for the pivoting if he makes it out of the primary. He can try, but controlling the message is a lot harder to do when Irvin is up against Pritzker who can go toe-to-toe with Griffin in spending and is more than willing to let all the residents of Illinois know what Irvin said in the primary vs. what he’s trying to say in the general election. It could be months of “he’s just another hypocritical politician” being drilled into our heads. If I’m the Pritzker campaign after June, part of my plan is to remind all the GOP primary voters why they didn’t vote for Irvin and keep them from voting from him in November.


  64. - PublicServant - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 5:22 pm:

    === Irvin, campaign irritated that reporters dared interrupt multiple candidate filibusters ===

    How dare they do their jobs, and not let you skate (banned punctuation).

    Puppets have problems when it comes to spontaneity. Let me finish, lol. That translates into “Let me babble nonsense to run out the QA session.”

    The Irvin puppet campaign is failing Ken. Governor Pritzker isn’t going to let You off the hook. Good luck…not.


  65. - New Day - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 5:43 pm:

    “Put your political bias aside and you’ll recognize Irvin did better than you ever expected.”

    LOLOLOL

    No. As a political pro I can tell you it was an absolute disaster. Put your political biases aside and you’ll clearly see that.


  66. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 5:49 pm:

    ===Pritzker campaign may be too amateurish/ideological to see it right now===

    Arguably, the Pritzker campaign put together the best field operations and messaging control, not seen since Rauner was the challenger four years earlier.

    I don’t think you have any clue about “who” or “what” exactly happens in *any* campaign.

    Yikes.


  67. - sal-says - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 6:29 pm:

    Hmmmm. Let’s see now. Can I say absolutely nothing before the primary & still win the primary with millions of funding ? That’s the question.

    Wow.


  68. - Shanna - Monday, May 9, 22 @ 11:22 pm:

    “Irvin needs suburban female votes in June, he can focus more on black voters in the fall.”

    As a black female voter I find this highly offensive. He has refused to meet with WVON the only black talk radio in Chicago. He places himself with white women speak of issues foreign to the black folks needs. There is a huge poverty and education issue with black folks. Those things combine lead to a crime problem. If the school is not teaching the child and the parent lack education how is that child going to learn. All I have seen no effort to even knowledge his blackness yet alone win our vote.

    Irvin is a white woman candidate. He has a lot of work to do to win black folks.


  69. - workingfromhome - Tuesday, May 10, 22 @ 7:38 am:

    “Today, I think, was basically an up… I feel good about it.”


  70. - Da big bad wolf - Tuesday, May 10, 22 @ 7:43 am:

    If he’s having a meltdown now how is he going to be able to do the job of governing?


  71. - Juice - Tuesday, May 10, 22 @ 8:58 am:

    At Da big bad wolf, it is a tad sad that if Irvin does manage to get elected, we won’t be able to witness Mike Madigan running legislative laps around the guy come next April.


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