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On ‘Our Home, Our Fight’ Tour, Rauner Still Fighting to Defend Disastrous Economic Record

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Rauner Downplays Impact of Two-Year Budget Crisis That Devastated State, Exaggerates Job Growth

Yesterday was the first day of Bruce Rauner’s “Our Home, Our Fight” reelection campaign tour and, despite each stop consisting only of company workers, Rauner had a hard time defending his record. At his first stop in Decatur, Rauner downplayed what was the nation’s longest budget impasse since the Great Depression in an attempt to deflect responsibility for the mess he created:

“This is not new that we’re running a deficit, we’ve been running one for 35 years under Speaker Madigan’s control. It’s the reason we have out of control debt, unfunded pension liabilities, unpaid bills.  People say, ‘Well we didn’t have a budget for two years, that caused a problem.’ That’s not the case. What’s happened is 35 years of deficits has caused our problems.”

Rauner forced the state to go through a two-year budget crisis that undeniably tripled the state’s bill backlog, slowed economic growth, and devastated higher education and state services. But the impasse wasn’t a problem in Rauner’s eyes.

Rauner’s second stop resulted in the headline: “Fact Check: Governor Rauner Exaggerates Job Growth.”

“The incumbent Republican replayed many of his greatest hits from his 2014 campaign during his two stops in Decatur and Champaign on Monday, but he struggled to defend his own record on job growth since he took office. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Illinois ranked 48th in job growth nationwide between September 2016 and September 2017. Only two states ranked lower during that stretch and they lost jobs.” 

(screen shot via WCIA)

Tough start for a candidate labeled as the “most vulnerable incumbent” in the nation.

“It says a lot that Bruce Rauner starts his reelection campaign by pretending he has not been Governor for three years,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Now, Rauner’s refusing to take responsibility for the damage his actions did to Illinois families. Bruce Rauner may try and blame others for his failures but it is undeniable that Illinois has fallen backwards under his leadership.”