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GOP gubernatorial debate coverage roundup

Friday, Jun 3, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tina Sfondeles

Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin defended himself Thursday evening against primary rivals he said were “threatened” by his frontrunner status — while chief adversary Darren Bailey grinned broadly as he alternately lobbed attacks and tried to paint himself as a friendly farmer who “is actually going to tell the truth.”

“You should not become governor,” Bailey told Irvin, who responded by saying he wouldn’t be “lectured” by the downstate state senator. […]

Sullivan — who called himself the outsider candidate — was the first to go after Irvin, claiming the Aurora mayor stood alongside Pritzker in supporting lockdowns and mandates during the pandemic.

Bailey frequently interrupted Irvin and the others as they spoke. At one point, during a question about mandates, Bailey turned to Irvin and told him he shouldn’t be elected governor because he’s a “Democrat” and a “corrupt Democrat.”

“I won’t be lectured by someone like Darren Bailey who had a mask mandate on his own farm,” Irvin shot back. […]

“If you want a farmer to lead the state, Darren’s your guy. If this is a beauty contest … Jesse wins by a landslide. If you want a Democrat to lead the Republican Party, Richard is your guy,” [Gary Rabine] said.

* Rick Pearson and Dan Petrella

“There’s nobody else running up here that’s freed up rapists as well as wife beaters,” Rabine said of Irvin’s tough-on-crime imagery. “I can’t see how you’re going to govern the state that way.”

But Irvin largely refused to engage his rival’s attacks.

“My opponents here on the stage are attacking me and I understand and I get it,” he said. “They’re threatened by the fact that I’m violating their political aspirations and I’m hurting their political aspirations.” […]

Sullivan criticized Irvin for once again refusing to go further and say if he thought the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that permitted abortion without extensive government regulation should be overturned.

“I think conservatives around the state need to take this opportunity to hear from Richard Irvin. Do you support the overturning of Roe vs. Wade? Do you support taxpayer funded abortions? This is a clear conservative value that people deserve to hear from you on.”

* Dave McKinney

“I’m not interested in defeating you just because you’re a Democrat,” state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, said as he turned toward Irvin. “I’m interested in defeating you because you’re a corrupt Democrat.” […]

As he has before on abortion, Irvin never explicitly said whether he’d take steps to ban the procedure in Illinois or if he would allow certain exemptions like rape and incest. The only on-topic response he made to the question was a vow to reimpose parental notification for minors seeking abortions, a requirement that Pritzker abolished and that took effect this week.

“Did you answer the question yet?” Rabine interjected during a meandering response Irvin delivered on abortion.

“Richard Irvin, the great imposter,” Bailey scowled moments later after noting his own litany of anti-abortion endorsements. […]

“We must offer…mental health solutions and help these people to be able to get help and to be able to function in life,” Bailey said, laying out his abstract plan to target potentially unhinged gunmen before they strike. “I think that’s the only solution we have.”

Without offering specifics of his own, Irvin cited the need to make sure “we keep these guns out of the hands of criminals and keep these guns out of the hands of people with mental illnesses.”

* Marni Pyke

Moderator Alan Krashesky asked about requiring masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as cases rise.

Bailey, who sued the state in 2020 over masking, said, “I’m the only person here who actually did something.” […]

Irvin, seen by some political experts as the front-runner in the race, deflected jabs about taxes and crime in Aurora.

“My opponents here on the stage are attacking me, and I understand and I get it,” he said. “They’re threatened by the fact that … I’m hurting their political aspirations.”

Bailey got some heat for claiming he defeated Pritzker. Both Rabine and Schimpf noted that the case had been tossed.

More later.

…Adding… Oops. I forgot about the Mike Miletich story

Candidates were also asked if they were able to work across the aisle with Democrats to get their policies passed in Springfield. Bailey claimed he has worked in a bipartisan manner as a state lawmaker and even believes some Democrats are afraid to defy Pritzker.

“There are many Democrats that think like we do around this circle,” Bailey said. “But unfortunately, they feel hindered that they won’t get re-elected if they subscribe to these policies of freedom, and lower taxes, and safe streets. When I have that pulpit and when I’m able to express that message, I think that we’ll have many come along.”

Irvin emphasized that he was elected as a Republican mayor in a Democratic stronghold. He said that there has been bipartisan work with Democrats on the Aurora city council and lawmakers in Springfield to bring resources back to his community. But he quickly contradicted that statement by focusing on having GOP control in Springfield.

“I’m going to use our resources, I’m going to use our infrastructure. I’m going to use our ground game, not just to help myself and my running mate, Rep. Avery Bourne, but to help every Republican up and down the ballot to make sure that we get rid of that supermajority that the Democrats have,” Irvin said.

       

23 Comments
  1. - Levois J - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 9:42 am:

    I liked that Schimpf went after Irvin as far as party unity. And it was good that Irvin stayed above the fray when his rivals were pointing to him as a “Democrat”. It seemed a bit messy as a debate, however, it was a civil debate.


  2. - Big Dipper - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 9:50 am:

    ==When I have that pulpit==

    Wrong profession.


  3. - NIU Grad - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 9:55 am:

    “If you want a farmer to lead the state, Darren’s your guy. If this is a beauty contest … Jesse wins by a landslide. If you want a Democrat to lead the Republican Party, Richard is your guy,” [Gary Rabine] said.

    I’m really hoping he closed that out with something about himself…


  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 9:56 am:

    ===I’m really hoping he closed that out===

    Instead of asking that question, you could’ve spent the time to click the freaking link.


  5. - fs - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 9:56 am:

    Am I correct that it was live-streamed, not broadcast live on TV? I know it wasn’t on any downstate channel that I could find. Given that, and the fact that it was going up against an NBA Finals game night, a Cardinals-Cubs game, and a Presidential speech, I have to wonder how many people actually watched it. I’m guessing not many, which means its impact on the race, if any, will be determined by who has the best spin and the most money to get their spin out there.


  6. - Big Dipper - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 9:57 am:

    ==Irvin emphasized that he was elected as a Republican mayor in a Democratic stronghold.==

    Aurora elections are nonpartisan. From the city’s website: “In 1977, the voters of the City of Aurora chose by referendum to conduct the City’s municipal elections on a non-partisan basis.”


  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 9:58 am:

    ===I have to wonder how many people actually watched it===

    Not many. It’ll be on the channel tonight at 10:30 I think.

    These aren’t like presidential debates. The only thing that really matters is news coverage and TV ad clips.


  8. - Norseman - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 9:58 am:

    I see Rabine spent some time looking for a cute soundbite, but couldn’t he find something a little more damaging than calling Bailey a farmer? I used to think being a farmer was a good thing.


  9. - New Day - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 10:03 am:

    Rich, I think everyone would like your take. Was hoping to see it in the Fax today.


  10. - Lurker - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    I think Irvin should have shown that he can be bipartisan and work across the aisle by holding up one mailer in his right hand with an elephant on it and in his left hand the same mailer with a donkey. 🤭


  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 10:15 am:

    ===Was hoping to see it in the Fax today===

    Yeah, well, I had a story that actually impacts a campaign. Don’t see yet what this debate does to the governor’s race.


  12. - Immigrants Welcome - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 10:28 am:

    === Don’t see yet what this debate does to the governor’s race.===

    Shows that money can’t buy you a good candidate.


  13. - Bad Goya Vitch - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 10:35 am:

    The four-way Republican debate for IL-13 was last night, too. Anyone catch that?


  14. - New Day - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 10:44 am:

    “Don’t see yet what this debate does to the governor’s race.”

    That says a lot.


  15. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 11:37 am:

    ‘Bailey, who sued the state in 2020 over masking, said, “I’m the only person here who actually did something.” […]’

    In Bizarro Illinois, doing something wrong is considered doing something right.


  16. - Anthony - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 11:48 am:

    –“If you want a farmer to lead the state, Darren’s your guy. If this is a beauty contest … Jesse wins by a landslide. If you want a Democrat to lead the Republican Party, Richard is your guy,” [Gary Rabine] said.–

    Sooo… how are you the guy for the job Mr Rabine??


  17. - Craig - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 11:58 am:

    Pretty wild that Irvin claimed earning the state FOP endorsement during that debate, even though he hasn’t actually secured that endorsement.


  18. - fs - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    == In Bizarro Illinois, doing something wrong is considered doing something right.==

    And in the real world, Bailey’s lawsuit amounted to absolutely nothing.

    If the last few years were an episode of the Simpsons, Bailey would be Ralph standing in the back of a room, smiling while saying “I’m helping.”

    Sure you are, Ralph. Sure you are.


  19. - Real - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    Max Soloman was the most sincere and best performing at the debate. I think he would be a great gov. Big contrast from that phony and bought Irvin.


  20. - Arsenal - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    It’s really funny that Irvin’s people thought he was ready for prime time.


  21. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 1:26 pm:

    @Anthony

    Rabine’s comment was he’s the only businessman and we need a business mentality in govt.

    This ignores that farmers are business people too but I think the “farmer” comment was kind of a coded “too Downstate to win” dig.

    And one thing that strikes me listening to Darren Bailey talk is he does not sound like someone with a Downstate Illinois accent to me. Sounds more Arkansas or something the way he says words like school as “skew-wull”.

    Not sure if anyone else hears that but if they do I could see it being offputting with suburban GOP.


  22. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 1:56 pm:

    =If this is a beauty contest … Jesse wins by a landslide.=

    So Rabine thinks Jesse is…pretty? He said “by a landslide” to boot. Yikes. But good to know.


  23. - Amalia - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 3:08 pm:

    take at our house was jeez, one of these guys could end up governor. and not in a we are pro choice and pro sensible gun regulations and these guys are not way. in the way that they are all so far from competent. it’s scary.


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