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Debate preview

Thursday, Oct 6, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Try to keep in mind that tonight’s televised gubernatorial debate is not a presidential debate. Most voters won’t watch. Some will get their information from the news media, others will see clips and commentary online. So, when someone tells you that a gubernatorial debate can change the trajectory of the race, you might wanna take that with a grain of salt. Gov. Pritkzer would have to perform well below expectations for that to happen and Bailey would have to perform well above. Not saying it won’t happen. Just sayin.

From the Tribune’s preview

Bailey, a state senator and farmer from downstate Xenia, has focused much of his criticism of Pritzker on his decision to sign into law the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act. Bailey contends pretrial detention provisions over cashless bail in the SAFE-T Act will bring Chicago-like crime to the rest of the state. Pritzker, a billionaire entrepreneur and an heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, argues Bailey’s conservative positions, especially his opposition to abortion rights except to save the life of the mother, are too extreme for Illinois.

* Bailey gave a preview of his own debate spin and strategy to Newsmax

Q: Darren, I want to get straight into it because you’re set to have your first debate face to face with your opponent JB Pritzker tomorrow on Thursday. What are you expecting from all of this?

A: Well, I’m expecting JB to continue to do what he’s doing, which is just lying, which is what he does all the time. And, and I love the name of the show this morning. Wake up America. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re waking up Illinois. And people are waking up because they’re fed up. We’ve got transgender ideology in our classrooms. We’ve got a revolving door coming on our jails. Our streets aren’t safe. Our taxes are too high. Our children are in danger at their schools and it’s time to take it back. And that’s been my message from the beginning.

Q: When I think about Virginia, I think ground zero for CRT and education in this country. When I think Illinois, I think Chicago, I think Lori Lightfoot and I think about crime. What’s the biggest issue to voters in your state?

A: Well, it certainly is crime. When I started running just four years ago, I’m a farmer from Southern Illinoism I didn’t I didn’t search this out, but taxes were too high. And Cindy and I were concerned about the future of our children and our grandchildren. And then when JB Pritzker was elected, well, all of a sudden our schools became overcome with woke ideology. And now, there has not been a day in Chicago for over 31 months where there’s not been a shooting or a killing. Something’s drastically wrong. And for JB Pritzker and Lori Lightfoot and Kim Foxx to just look blindly at this and to suggest there’s not a problem. I think they’re going to pay the price for that on November 8.

Q: And of course, this is as they’re pushing their own SAFE-T Act, something where that’ll do away with cash bail, it’ll make it harder for police, for example, to detain violent offenders, things like that. So Chicago has been seeing not only a major crime increase, but also buses of migrants from the southern border states. Do you have a plan to tackle this or is that even an important issue to voters in Illinois?

A: Well, it’s becoming an important issue. You know, obviously, Chicago being a sanctuary city and Illinois being a sanctuary state that was created so you’re not able to, law enforcement have their hands tied, they can do nothing. So when we take a look at Illinois, and especially at Chicago, and we have to ask ourselves about the drug trafficking, sex trafficking, the gang violence, the gun trafficking, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to consider and look to see what’s wrong with this. So yes, we must secure the southern border. When we secure the southern border then we have to begin the conversation about actual legal migration, especially here into this state. No state can handle what’s being done with these with all these migrants coming in to them.

Q: Yeah, you make a great point about the border. Monmouth with a poll out a day ago and for the first time, for the first time the border came in second most important issues to voters heading into the midterms. The economy by far number one, the border came in second crime was number three, abortion way down the list at number six. I’m wondering if you will mention this tomorrow during your debate, that if people in Illinois decide to reelect Governor Pritzker they are likely electing a governor who will be running for president starting within the next calendar year.

A: That’s certainly been on our radar. Yes, we’ve been sounding that alarm. This man has destroyed the state of Illinois financially, morally, I mean, we’re depleted, we’re bankrupt, and it’s time to turn it around. We just got to get the people to wake up and show up and vote. 1/3 of Illinois eligible voters are not registered to vote, and in the primary of June 28, 20% of registered voters showed up to vote. That’s a problem. We’ve got to have an awakening of patriotism, and to stand up and uphold our values here in this nation.

* Pritzker campaign press release…

Tonight, Governor JB Pritzker will face off against Republican extremist Darren Bailey at Illinois State University in their first televised debate. Voters will have the chance to hear directly from each candidate about their vision for Illinois, and the differences could not be more clear.

In attendance will be Emily, a mother who bravely shared her abortion story and who knows exactly how dangerous Bailey’s anti-choice views are for Illinois: “We spoke to many, many doctors and decided that the best option for us was an abortion. Darren Bailey thinks that should have been his decision, not mine — that I shouldn’t be trusted with that decision. He doesn’t understand what we went through, he wasn’t the one who got the phone call saying that our daughter was dying. We were.”

Emily understands that women should be free to make vital health care decisions about their own bodies, and she’s proud to support Governor Pritzker at tonight’s debate.

Also joining the audience is Josie, who had an abortion at 18 before going to college with a softball scholarship. Reflecting on the impact of her choice, Josie said, “During the darkest times of my life, when I felt I couldn’t even get out of bed, my abortion has served as my reminder of the life I knew I so badly wanted back then and reminded me that each day is a new opportunity.”

Each woman has a unique experience with abortion, but their message is the same: the right to choose is absolutely necessary, and any candidate who threatens that right is too extreme for Illinois.

“Tonight’s debate will showcase the stark differences between Governor Pritzker, who will outline his positive vision for the state, and Darren Bailey, who will undoubtedly continue to stoke fear and spread lies,” said JB for Governor Press Secretary Eliza Glezer. “Voters will see who Darren Bailey really is: a Trump-endorsed extremist whose radical agenda would take Illinois backwards. He has no substantive policy solutions to offer, so he’ll be forced to turn to tired talking points and dishonesty, in clear contrast to Governor Pritzker’s strong record of progress and action.”

Check your local Nexstar listings for the TV version, or go to WGN to watch it online.


  1. - clec dcn - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    I would agree nothing here to learn in the debate except much tension and name calling. It will not change anyone’s mind hopefully Bailey will not look silly. That could happen.

  2. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    ===I mean, we’re depleted, we’re bankrupt, and it’s time to turn it around.===

    Only in MAGAland. The last dude who proposed a ‘turnaround’ agenda was sent packing after his first term. Turned right around and fled to FL. There will be no first term for Goober but I suspect he’ll still be a local hero in and around Xenia.

  3. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    =hopefully Bailey will not look silly.=

    It’s kind of his brand.

  4. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    “hopefully Bailey will not look silly”

    Well, there’s a first time for everything, I suppose.

  5. - Vote Quimby - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    ==it doesn’t take a rocket scientist==
    Whew. Glad we are safe from that. But it does take someone smart and “educated” to offer an opinion on that topic.

  6. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, and ask if anyone who will watch this debate, actually hasn’t decided who they are voting for?
    My guess is, most who watch are just doing it, hoping their guy doesn’t screw up. And the other guy does.

  7. - H-W - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:01 am:

    Three words: Chicken Little Bailey.

    Apparently, the sky has already fallen, and we are already dead, according to Bailey’s perspectives on the state of Illinois today.

    If you believe Bailey, one might wonder how one governor could have had so much power as to completely destroy a state in so little time.

    On a side note, perhaps Democrats should start referring to the “SAFE-T Act” as the “Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act.” Political banners are important, and the shorthand version makes critique too easy. We are either safe or not safe. But accountability is important and difficult to reject. Equity and Fairness are strong moral propositions that are difficult to reject.

  8. - Lurker - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:04 am:

    Wow. If those are his answers when being fed, his debate should go great. /s

    To bad I’m at a dinner party tonight and cannot watch the train wreck live

  9. - MoralMinority - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:08 am:

    ==Wake up America. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re waking up Illinois.==Gee, Darren, I thought you said “woke” was bad. Now you’re telling us you’re waking up the state. People are gonna be confused.

  10. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:10 am:

    =hopefully Bailey will not look silly. That could happen.=

    Right.Lol. Like as in a 1 in a million chance?

    He will look like a liar. Literally all of his comments about public schools are flat out lies. Our teachers will be watching tonight. And I think the IEA put something out encouraging teachers to watch. And they vote.

    I hope Pritzker hits him on the BJU stuff at the bailey school for the oppressed. It is sickening.

  11. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    ==which is just lying, which is what he does all the time==

    Umm . . . Darren?

    “Well, it certainly is crime” - Not true. It’s not even in the top 3.

    “man has destroyed the state of Illinois financially” - Not true. We’re in the best position we’ve been in in a long time.

    I wouldn’t vote for Bailey if he were the only one on the ballot.

  12. - Shibboleth - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    =Our children are in danger at their schools=

    The danger to kids from Bailey’s gun policies is dramatically greater than supposed danger from transgender students being accepted and understood by their peers.

    =SAFE-T Act, something where that’ll do away with cash bail, it’ll make it harder for police … to detain violent offenders=

    Definitely an unbiased interview question.

    =begin the conversation about actual legal migration, especially here into this state.=

    Showing once again that the “illegal immigration” scare is just a focus on the short-term goal rather than the true goal. The actual belief held by Bailey is xenophobia and a shut door policy.

    =This man has destroyed the state of Illinois financially … we’re depleted, we’re bankrupt, and it’s time to turn it around.=

    I don’t think we’re talking about the same state? I seem to recall several ratings increases and a rebuilt rainy-day fund.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    ===We just got to get the people to wake up===

    When your in-law uncle has run out of “phony phacts” that the family listening won’t buy…

    “Wake up”

    It’s a tell. You’ve lost your audience

  14. - Langhorne - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:18 am:

    Bailey is good at his “sky is falling” shtick, which plays well for true believers. He is as far away from being a policy wonk as the moon is from Xenia. But come on.By this point in an election a candidate should have at least a small quiver of arrows sharpened and ready. Descriptive facts, and policy steps. Not just name-calling and the smallest of incendiary factoids.

  15. - Levois J - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:20 am:

    In this debate I will give credit where credit is due. Bailey as the challenger is expected to challenge the incumbent, however, Gov. Pritzker is the first governor in a long time who has actually governed. I don’t agree with everything the has done with the pandemic or even some other issues he’s championed since he became Governor. Still he’s probably the first since George Ryan who has actually done the job of running this state. I’m sure that’ll come through in this debate.

  16. - Jerry - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:22 am:

    Why is Bailey concerned with Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) in classrooms? Are they even manufactured anymore!

  17. - Langhorne - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:22 am:

    I interact with immigrants on a regular basis. I generally call them “doctor “.

    Three of my grandparents were first-generation immigrants. I can only spell one of their names.

  18. - ZC - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:23 am:

    It looks like it’ll also be streaming on YouTube:

  19. - vern - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:28 am:

    === Bailey gave a preview of his own debate spin and strategy to Newsmax===

    Sounds like Bailey is laser focused on persuadable voters, who very famously watch Newsmax. /s

  20. - Pinkerton Detective - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:29 am:

    “Bailey gave a preview of his own debate spin and strategy”


    “Pritzker campaign press release”

    Good ol’ Capfax

  21. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:31 am:

    I don’t plan to watch as I am convinced there is only 1 realistic choice. I suppose it is possible that undecided voters will watch the debate and be persuaded by one or the other of the candidates. People who watch it with a preferred candidate in mind aren’t likely to change their mind. In fact, they are likely to think their preferred candidate won even if they clearly lost.

  22. - Academic union state employee - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    Will the Libertarian candidate be allowed to participate tonight?

  23. - Kayak - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:33 am:

    Shakin’ up Springfield. Waking up Illinois. Hopefully Bailey starts dropping those G’s tonight so Chicago can see he’s a legit farmer like Farmer Bruce.

  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:34 am:

    ===Will the===

    Use the Google, then comment. This passive/aggressive stuff gets old quick.

  25. - Baloneymous - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:34 am:

    ===Bailey gave a preview of his own debate spin and strategy to Newsmax…===

    This is the sort of thing that makes me not worry about Bailey performing above expectations.

  26. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:44 am:

    =He is as far away from being a policy wonk as the moon is from Xenia.=

    This wondrously succinct analogy can be used in so many fun ways…

    He is as far away from being a wordsmith as the moon is from Xenia.


    He is as far away from being a governor as the moon is from Xenia.

    Many, many thanks to Langhorne.

  27. - Montrose - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:45 am:

    What’s the biggest issue to voters in your state?

    A: Well, it certainly is crime.

    Darren should really read CapFax more carefully.

  28. - New Day - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:02 pm:

    “This man has destroyed the state of Illinois financially,”

    Repeat after me. Six credit upgrades. Six credit upgrades. Six credit upgrades.

  29. - AD - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:02 pm:

    Unless Bailey finds a way to really get under Pritzker’s skin (maybe bringing up his family), Pritzker has shown to be disciplined enough to avoid any major mistakes. And that’s the only way I can see this debate having any impact on the end result of the election.

  30. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    Nothing like telegraphing your punches, eh? Not that Bailey hasn’t been singing the same off key tune like forever, or that the usually hyper-prepared Pritzker campaign team hasn’t already loaded up. Hope the guv keeps his cool and calmly hammers away at Bailey, refuting B’s fantasies with fact after fact.

  31. - Banish Misfortune - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    Serious question. What is a sanctuary city? I know this gets tossed around a lot. My only recollection is something a long time ago about ICE raids and some places would only refer undocumented immigrants when they were arrested for other crimes. Is that what they are talking about?

  32. - DuPage - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:29 pm:

    I have a lot of things to do. I don’t think I will waste time watching the debate. I have seen enough of Mr. Bailey to know I won’t vote for him. There are things I don’t like about Pritzker, but no one is perfect. Between Bailey and Pritzker, it is an easy choice, not even close.

  33. - Narc - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:39 pm:

    The Budzinski/Deering debate is also tonight at the same time. Why on earth would you schedule like this?

  34. - don the legend - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    == Academic union state employee==

    Did your posting name used to be “disgruntled” and that you would never go out to a restaurant, and are from Chatham?

  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    === Did your posting name used to be===

    The writings of at least those two (or more) names are seemingly the same.

    Is it? Dunno.

  36. - New Day - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    “…one might wonder how one governor could have had so much power as to completely destroy a state in so little time.”

    In fairness, Rauner worked really hard to do just that and was quite successful at it.

  37. - low level - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:25 pm:

    A fair number of independent suburban voters will hear Beetle Bailey’s very annoying voice thats all they will need to make up their minds, not to mention no one knows where Xenia is anyway.

  38. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    == no one knows where Xenia is anyway.==

    So they are Xeniaphobic?

  39. - very old soil - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    Rich, You missed a banned punctuation mark at 11:22

  40. - Amalia - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:50 pm:

    the bingo at our house is how many times the husband says he sick of hearing from Mr. Haney.

  41. - H-W - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 2:08 pm:

    @ Banish Misfortune


  42. - H-W - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    @ New Day


  43. - Jibba - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 3:06 pm:

    ===This man has destroyed the state of Illinois financially, morally, I mean, we’re depleted, we’re bankrupt, and it’s time to turn it around.===

    When he discusses our state, I don’t recognize it. Even if you don’t like the guy, you can’t argue with the financial progress at least. How can you expect to persuade voters when you are saying things that are blatantly unreal? The true believers yes, but not the middle that you need.

  44. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    Drink every time Darren says Friends…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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