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Day 2 of Rauner’s Existential Crisis: Rauner Maintains that He’s “Not in Charge”

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WCIA – Rauner Running for Reelection to Office He Feels Doesn’t Give Him Enough Power

Yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner, launched a surprising new reelection slogan – “I’m not in charge” – and today he stood by his bold declaration. In a press conference this afternoon, Rauner was given the opportunity to walk back his statement, but he decided to go further down the rabbit hole. In many ways, Rauner’s slogan is not unfamiliar – he’s extremely practiced at dodging responsibility and accountability for his failed record. Rauner, who was sworn into office on January 12th, 2015, is quick to point the finger of blame elsewhere for his administration’s failures.

Still, Rauner’s new slogan was met with some wonderment:  

WCIA – “Governor Bruce Rauner is asking voters to reelect him to an office he feels doesn’t give him enough power to enact his political agenda.” 

WTTW – “Gov. Bruce Rauner came into office selling his credentials as a deal-making businessman with the personal fortune and guts to ‘turn around’ Illinois’ political system. But nearly three years into his term, Rauner on Monday said he’s ‘not in charge.’”

Today, Rauner was asked if he stood by his comments (transcript and audio via Capitol Fax).

“Reporter: Governor, do you want to revisit the notion that you’re not in charge? I know there might have been some push-back in the last 24 hours after you indicated that yesterday. It was kind of a strong thing to say. In hindsight, do you want to take another look at that and revise what you said?

“Gov. Rauner: Hmm. No. Not really. I think, um, everyone in this state knows what I’m talking about. We’ve had one person in power. One person in charge of the vast amounts of the government for 35 years. And it’s the reason we’re in such big trouble. And I think most people in the state understand that…”

No regrets here. 

“Bruce Rauner would deny his name was Bruce Rauner if he thought it would help his re-election campaign,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “The fact is Rauner has never taken responsibility for the skyrocketing debt, the diminished services or the continued exodus of people and jobs from the state. The more his administration’s failures pile up, the more likely Rauner will deny he’s even been governor for three years.”