Oprah coy about which candidate she supports

February 11, 2011 11:41:41 AM PST
Oprah Winfrey was asked about her views on the Chicago mayor's race Friday morning and whether she could reveal whom she supports.

"No, I don't think I can. But I'm supporting the guy that's going to win," she said.

A Chicago Tribune poll shows Rahm Emanuel with a big lead, putting his support at 48 percent.

On Election Day, February 22, Emanuel needs 50 percent plus one to avoid a runoff election. Gery Chico is second with 19 percent support. Carol Moseley Braun has 10 percent and Miguel del Valle has 8 percent. William Walls and Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins each have 1 percent support. Twelve percent of voters were still undecided.

Emanuel held a campaign event Friday to show his support for small businesses and the growth of new technologies.

"I will continue to work tirelessly, not just towards Election Day. Most importantly, I want them to know that I will work tirelessly after Election Day to continue to make Chicago the greatest city in the greatest country," Emanuel said.

The business Emanuel showcased was a block away from his home, which he rented out when he went to Washington, D.C., to be chief of staff.

The candidates faced off in a forum Thursday night.

Emanuel was not responding to a lot of the criticism from his opponents, who are all trying to gain ground. The hour-long forum with the six candidates on Fox Chicago News was more of a controlled question-and-answer format, less of a debate.

All of the candidates talked about how they would bring jobs to the city, close the budget gap and fight crime. Chico and Moseley Braun both attacked Emanuel. Braun criticized his voting record in Congress as it relates to African-American issues. Chico took a shot at Emanuel's more privileged background.

"I don't have to criticize anybody or attack anybody, to attack the problems facing the city of Chicago. We face a set of common challenges," Emanuel said.

"Somebody who never supported the efforts of the Congressional Black Caucus, and frankly in my opinion, is hiding behind the inference of the president's support to legitimize himself in the African-American community. It's just not right," Moseley Braun said.

"Rahm Emanuel just doesn't come from that background. He did not grow up in our city. He guy up in the wealthy North Shore suburbs and went to the wealthiest high school in the state of Illinois. We are night and day," Chico said.

"I would prefer a different kind of format. I would prefer a format that would allow us to react, not necessarily engage each other, but react and follow up on questions," Del Valle said.

Not only did Emanuel not respond to those attacks from his opponents, but he also decided to not stop to answer questions from reporters afterward.