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State Newspapers to Rauner: Stop Passing the Blame and Do Your Job

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Today marks 1,064 days into Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration and one week since Rauner infamously claimed, “I’m not in charge,” then declined to revise his statement when given the chance. The state’s editorial boards and writers took Rauner to task for his comment, and called on him to show leadership instead of passing the blame. Rauner even drew criticism from newspapers that endorsed Rauner in 2014:

Quad City Times Editorial Board: “Even Rauner knows he’s failed.”

“But Rauner’s acknowledgement of his own fecklessness is a damning self-imposed indictment of just how little Rauner — and his supporters — have to show for his first term.”

“Rauner took office in 2015 with plenty of promise. The new governor had, on many counts, correctly identified that which plagues Illinois. But, almost immediately, he took it too far. Full of hubris, he targeted unions from day one. He amassed a huge war chest and hung it like an ax over the heads of Republicans in the General Assembly. He played incessantly to rural parochialism and anti-Chicago sentiment. The miscalculations have piled up and rendered Rauner completely ineffectual. And, apparently, even Rauner himself seems to know it.”

Chicago Tribune Editorial Board: “Stop griping, Governor, and make your case.”

“Madigan shouldn’t be the focus of Rauner’s re-election campaign. Rauner should be the focus of Rauner’s campaign. Our advice to the governor: Stop griping. Pivot. Regroup. And do it soon.”

Chicago Tribune, 12/5/17


State Journal & Register Editorial Board: “Governor, focus on what you can do.”

“During the 2014 campaign, Rauner said that leaders ‘take on the responsibility and you take the heat and you take the blame when things don’t go well, but you give the credit to your team.’ He needs to follow his own advice.”

Doug Finke, Gate House Media: “Rauner not a take charge kind of guy.”

“Rauner might want to retool that woe-is-me-and-I’m-helpless-until-Madigan-is-gone theme. But given the mileage his opponents continue to get out of it, it might already be too late.”

Associated Press: “’I’m not in charge’: Rauner’s words may haunt re-election bid.”

“Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner raised eyebrows, then questions about whether he misspoke after he declared ‘I am not in charge’ of the state. Now it looks like the comment could haunt him all the way until Election Day.”

Another successful week for the nation’s most vulnerable incumbent.

“Illinois families are tired of Bruce Rauner’s ‘pass-the-buck’ style of leadership,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner’s refusal to take responsibility for his administration’s failures has been a constant theme over the past three years, and it’s no coincidence that his approval ratings are at rock bottom. But Rauner cannot hide from the truth – under his watch Illinois is sliding backwards.”