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Rate the NRCC’s hit on Bailey

Friday, Sep 29, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* This came in over the transom from the National Republican Congressional Committee last night…

Hey Rich,

Hope this email finds you well! I recently saw your report on Mike Bost and Ukraine and I wanted to see if you were interested in covering some examples of Darren Bailey moderating his previously conservative positions when he ran for statewide office. I don’t think these positions would play well now that he is in a primary challenge against Bost. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

Government Waste:
Darren Bailey claimed to support fiscal responsibility, opposing wasteful government spending. However, he reportedly took nearly $570,000 in PPP loans and since 1995, his farm has taken $2.1 million in federal subsidies. Additionally, his family members received millions from the Pritzker admin.

Wouldn’t Stand For Life:
Darren Bailey claims to be pro-life. However, he also claimed abortion laws in the state would not have be changed should he had won his gubernatorial race, stating “Illinois has the most permissive abortion laws in the nation. Nothing’s going to change when I’m governor.”

Second Amendment:
Darren Bailey claims to support the second amendment. However, while running for Governor, Bailey called for a special session to strengthen the Firearms Restraining Order Act, red flag law legislation that allows judges to take away firearms.

Chose to live in Chicago:
Darren Bailey claims to be anti-Chicago, supporting measures for separation and calling it a “hellhole.” However, he chose to live on the miracle mile in the John Hancock center, while campaigning for Governor, claiming he wanted to “immerse [him]self in the culture” of the city.

* As noted above, we talked yesterday about how Mike Bost flip-flopped on his previous votes in favor of funding the defense of Ukraine against the Russian invasion. Bailey had whacked Bost and US Rep. Darin LaHood for their past votes in favor of Ukraine funding. “We can’t secure our border, but we continue writing blank checks to Ukraine? We need to get our priorities straight and put America first. How any member of Congress can vote for this while our border isn’t secure, families are suffering, and we have veterans living on our streets is abhorrent,” he wrote.

This morning brought another bit from the NRCC. It’s a Sun-Times report from February of 2022

Pritzker’s Republican rivals have found a rare patch of common ground with him on Ukraine, with candidates in the GOP primary field for governor summarily denouncing the Russian invasion.

“Russia’s actions are unconscionable and we should place extremely strong sanctions on Russia,” state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, said in a statement. “Ukraine has made clear it can fight for itself but we should provide the resources they need to defend their sovereignty.”

* Bailey’s response…

“I have always been against sending blank checks to Ukraine. My position hasn’t changed. Unlike career politicians like Bost, I would have demanded accountability with every penny and cut it off a long time ago. And I would not have joined a never-Trumper like Adam Kinzinger to push new gun control laws, and I would never vote to send millions to planned parenthood. I’m a conservative fighter who has been in the fights against Pritzker’s lockdowns and more while Bost has been sitting on his hands and playing politics.”


  1. - Sox Fan - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 10:25 am:

    Darren Bailey: Not extreme enough for Illinois.

    What a difference 2 years makes.

  2. - Roadrager - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 10:45 am:

    “Miracle mile.” I know this race is for a district that fancies itself as being in an entirely different state than Chicago, but come on.

  3. - H-W - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 10:54 am:

    The NRCC talking points are pretty MAGA in scope. “Chose to live in Chicago” is a stupid argument, albeit consistent with MAGA attempts to burn the “formerly known as” GOP to the ground. The “wouldn’t stand for life” is actually a lie, being used to drive a fictitious wedge between two rather similar Republican candidates. At most, the ad shows why incumbents should not always be propped up by national parties.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 11:04 am:

    The battle between Bailey and Bost is the struggle between both to cultivate the cultists who are difficult to sway once they choose their choice.

    Here’s the thing;

    In an overall, Bailey captured 56+% of voting Illinois republicans in a statewide primary election.

    This is the thing I’d like to point out…

    The griping of Pritzker inserting his ads in the race, that Bailey said he at the time… “I love it”… it’s not that the negative ads couldn’t hurt Bailey, it’s that the positive reinforcement of Bailey’s cult bonafides were never gonna be cut down by the negative to his hypocrisy… exactly like Trump.

    It could very well be a waste of time to attack Bailey on hypocrisy to the cult if the cult won’t be swayed… and is this why Bost, individually, is more willing to be “more cultish” as a default than attack Bailey to the hypocrisy?

    Seems that way to me.

    It’s about the religious fervor to back the anointed versus judging two candidates on the merits of the policies and beliefs they carry best.

    The NRCC still thinks cultists can be swayed, Bost seems to recognize he needs to either be anointed or have the apostle Darren Bailey be less of a zealot than he.

  5. - ChrisB - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 11:05 am:

    NRCC jumping into a primary. Interesting.

  6. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 11:21 am:

    Bailey will wear the attacks from the NRCC like those from Ken Griffin. It’s a badge of honor. And it makes him as relatable to his followers as the person who he’s patterning his behavior after.

  7. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 11:31 am:

    If that’s the best the NRCC can offer, it’s trouble for Bost. The better approach would have been for Bost to hold his ground instead of pandering to the far right; it didn’t work for Davis and it’s not likely to work for Bost. He had good reason to support Ukraine; he should stand by that support. Flipping on Ukraine and other issues makes it difficult to get traction when trying to accuse Bailey of flipping on the same issues.

  8. - vern - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 11:40 am:

    I’ll give it an incomplete for now. I’m not sure which one of these 5 messages will move the primary electorate most, and it seems like the NRCC isn’t sure either.

    At least we know they’re serious about not getting to know Chicago, otherwise they would’ve written Magnificent Mile instead of “miracle mile.”

  9. - Jibba - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 11:41 am:

    So Bailey recognized the realpolitik of abortion in Illinois, wanted to learn about other cultures as a gubernatorial candidate, and supported some common sense gun control. If the NRCC thinks this makes him unelectable in a Republican primary, I can’t imagine how I would ever vote for a Republican again.

  10. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 11:59 am:

    Darren Bailey and culture should never appear in the same sentence.

  11. - Jerry - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    I agree with Bay-lee about supporting “fiscal responsibility, opposing wasteful government spending” and demanding “accountability with every penny and cut it off a long time ago.”

    For instance, if you’re a millionaire farmer why are you mooching off of hardworking taxpayers?

    You act like you’re the owner of a major sports franchise in Chicago that wants Socialist guv’mint handouts for a new stadium (and the they’ve already built them one!)

    Closeted Liberal?

  12. - OneMan - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 12:05 pm:

    Weak sauce, I give it a D. As OW pointed out, it plays to the outsider vibe.

  13. - Toddling - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 12:13 pm:

    TV ad or it didn’t happen.

  14. - spoon - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 12:40 pm:

    Toddling is right, put up or shut up, NRCC.

  15. - fs - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 12:57 pm:

    ==If the NRCC thinks this makes him unelectable in a Republican primary==

    You left out “in Southern Illinois”

    Politic campaigns and brick-and-mortar businesses share a common rule of thumb: “location, location, location”

  16. - low level - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 1:10 pm:

    Miracle Mile? No, its the Magnificent Mile,

  17. - H-W - Friday, Sep 29, 23 @ 2:01 pm:

    @ Low Level


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