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.