Morning Spin: Rauner says ‘a whole bunch’ more ads coming like one featuring other Republican governors


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Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said his campaign has “a whole bunch” of ads coming like one that featured governors of neighboring states mockingly thanking Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan for “raising Illinois taxes” and “helping create new jobs” in their states.

Rauner was speaking at a Marathon Petroleum Corp. oil refinery in Downstate Robinsonon Wednesday when he raised the high-profile ad that featured Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

The spot began airing last fall after Rauner formally launched his re-election bid but stopped in January shortly after Greitens admitted to an extramarital affair. Greitens resigned last month as Missouri lawmakers prepared to possibly impeach him.

“I don’t know if you saw, I ran a governors ad, I don’t know if you saw the governors ad maybe six months ago, we had the governors of states around us talking about changing,’” Rauner said. “And I got a whole bunch of those kind of ads comin’. Because the reality is if Illinois does well, the whole Midwest will do well.”

So far after the primary, most of Rauner’s advertising energy has been put behind spots trying to link Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker to imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

From the notebook

*Pritzker hits Rauner in new video: It’s well known that Gov. Rauner doesn’t like to talk about President Donald Trump and avoids using his name.

But during an appearance in Belleville on Tuesday, the governor praised the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress — again without using the president’s name.

“I’m very proud of what’s been going on in the federal government, Congress and the White House,” Rauner said during his Downstate appearance, a region of the state where the president retains support.

Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker’s team pounced to try to link Rauner to Trump in a new video, using that line five times and going so far as to use a clip of white supremacist David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, praising the president.

In one portion of the ad, Trump is shown after a protest led by white supremacists turned deadly last summer in Charlottesville, Va., when he said that there were “very fine people on both sides.” That is followed by a clip of Duke saying, “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.”

At the time, Rauner did initially stumble by telling reporters that he could not say that the death of protester Heather Heyer, who was struck by a car driven by a white supremacist supporter, was an act of “domestic terrorism.”

But Rauner’s office later issued a statement saying the governor “absolutely” believed the death to be domestic terrorism. And he went further at the Illinois State Fair, issuing a rare rebuke of Trump.

“I vehemently disagree with the president’s comments about the tragedy in Charlottesville,” Rauner said. “We must stand together against hatred and racism and bigotry and violence, and we must condemn those actions in Charlottesville in the strongest terms.”

Rauner went on to say: “What I care about, the comments damage America. We are all Americans. It doesn’t matter what party, it doesn’t matter who we vote for. What matters is that we stand for justice and fairness and equality. That’s what America is about. And racism and bigotry and violence has no place in our society.” (Rick Pearson)

By: Chicago Tribune staff

Article Photo: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, seen here giving his State of the State speech in January, said he is planning more ads criticizing Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (center, background). (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

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