Rauner focuses on Democrats, Madigan instead of Ives on eve of primary

ByCraig Wall via WLS logo
Monday, March 19, 2018
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Governor Bruce Rauner is clearly concerned about where the race stands on the eve of Illinois? primary election.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is clearly concerned about where the race stands on the eve of Illinois' primary election, and over the past few days his campaign has been obsessed with an ad by the Democratic Governors Association.

The ad promotes Rauner's opponent Jeanne Ives as too conservative, and the governor said it amounts to meddling in the Republican primary because it undermines him with Republican voters.

Rauner toured a steel manufacturing plant in Hanover Park, but his mind seemed more focus on the support an ad by the DGA could be manufacturing for Ives.

"The Democrat Governors Association, the Washington Democrats and Pritzker, they know that I'm gonna beat them in November. I can beat them, they know they can beat Ives, they want Ives to win, they're promoting Ives and they're doing everything they can to get Ives to win this primary," Rauner said.

Despite a recent poll that shows Ives within seven points of the governor, he spent much more time attacking Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.

"Madigan and Pritzker would be devastating for the state of Illinois," he said. "Madigan has held our state hostage. We have got to fight back against Madigan."

In fact, Rauner invoked Madigan's name 29 times during his 13-minute news conference.

"Bruce Rauner is a disgrace. As treacherous and dishonest as he has been as governor, he has been worse as a candidate for governor," Jeanne Ives said.

Ives blasted the governor Monday afternoon for his ad that paints her as a Madigan supporter.

"I'm Mike Madigan's worst nightmare, not his BFF," she said.

Ives held her news conference at Trump Tower, a symbolic gesture meant to appeal to that wing of the party. Outside, Rauner operatives held up a mock check to Ives from the DGA representing the money spent on the television ad.

"I am part of the reform wing of the Republican Party and you know what, the best thing about Donald Trump is he stands for draining the swamp in Washington, D.C., and there's no bigger swamp that needs to be drained in state capitols than the one in Springfield, and I stand for that," she said.

Rauner said he is taking the race seriously and urged his supporters to get out and vote.

Ives said there is, in her words, a huge enthusiasm gap between her supports and the governors' suggesting his are apathetic.

She said she will consider her campaign a success only with an upset victory Tuesday night.