Pritzker takes ILGOP heat for Florida trip
Wednesday, Jul 13, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, who is running for reelection this year, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Leadership Blue Gala that Florida Democrats will hold this Saturday in Tampa.
On the rise— Pritzker’s appearance comes nearly two weeks after the mass shooting in Highland Park thrust him into the national spotlight. Pritzker’s reaction — where he said he was angry and furious about gun violence in the nation — was seen by some as an illustration of the type of passion Democrats need heading into the midterms and 2024.
Here to help— Pritzker’s decision visit to Florida will also be sure to stoke longrunning whispers about a possible presidential bid, especially since he’s spending time in the home state of Gov. Ron DeSantis, himself a potential GOP presidential candidate. “Florida is in dire need of a pro-choice, Democratic governor, and Governor Pritzker is proud to support the Florida Democratic Party in their efforts to flip the state blue,” campaign spokeswoman Natalie Edelstein said in a statement sent to Shia Kapos, author of POLITICO’s Illinois Playbook. […]
Pritzker’s keynote speech will come on the heels of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s splashy decision to air ads bashing DeSantis and urging Floridians to move to his state. In that case, DeSantis has fired back and is now even fundraising off Newsom’s attacks. Expect his campaign team to fashion their own greeting for Pritzker.
A normal person following Governor JB Pritzker’s extensive travel schedule in recent months would be racking up the frequent flier miles. Luckily for our trust-fund billionaire governor, Pritzker has private jets to whisk him around the country - and even overseas - as he continues to give a wink and a knowing nod to the idea he may be just what national Democrats need in order to keep the White House in 2024 as Biden stumbles mightily.
After a recent trip to Europe to stump for Green New Deal policies, and political stops in New Hampshire (wink, wink) and Maine, Pritzker is headlining an annual Democratic gala in Florida this week. His spokeswoman said, “Florida is in dire need of a pro-choice, Democratic governor, and Governor Pritzker is proud to support the Florida Democratic Party in their efforts to flip the state blue.”
“Illinoisans don’t care what Florida needs and neither should Governor Pritzker at a time when working families are drowning under historic levels of inflation and high gas prices,” said ILGOP spokesman Joe Hackler. “Illinois has the highest taxes in the nation, highest gas prices in the midwest, an economy lagging far behind our midwest neighbors, and the imminent threat of power outages across almost all of the central and southern parts of the state. If Pritzker wants to run for President, he should start by doing his current job as Governor of Illinois - and doing it better.”
Frankly, I don’t think anyone in their right mind should be going to Florida in July. Yuck.
* Greg Hinz…
“Out-of-touch trust-fund billionaire J.B. Pritzker doesn’t have to worry about the cost of gas or groceries, but Illinois families are paying through the nose thanks to Pritzker’s tax increases and record-breaking inflation,” GOP gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey said in a statement. “Instead of coming to Springfield to do his job, Gov. Pritzker is gallivanting with his rich friends in Europe, New Hampshire, DC, Maine and Florida.”
Added Bailey, “Illinois families have a message for J.B.: Repeal the Pritzker gas tax hike. Stop campaigning for president and do your job.”
The Europe reference is a trip the governor took to England last November to promote policies designed to curb climate change.
Bailey wants Pritzker to call lawmakers back into session to deal with inflation and gas prices. Lawmakers are expected to meet around Labor Day to deal with abortion-rights legislation and perhaps new gun-control laws—not gas prices, though.
So, that’s three trips in 9 months.
…Adding… Natalie Edelstein with the Pritzker campaign…
“Florida is in dire need of a pro-choice, Democratic governor, and Governor Pritzker is proud to support the Florida Democratic Party in their efforts to flip the state blue. As a lifelong Democrat, Governor Pritzker is committed to supporting his party in every corner of our country. If the governor can play even a small role in helping Florida Democrats elect a Black woman to the US Senate, flip the governor’s office, and elect pro-choice, pro-science, pro-worker candidates to the legislature––he will gladly do so.”
The governor was apparently invited in April to speak at the event by the state party chair.