Ryan sides with Emanuel on Chicago strike
September 10th, 2012
06:58 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan sides with Emanuel on Chicago strike

Portland, Oregon (CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential candidate, sided with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday in the strike by unionized Chicago teachers and urged President Barack Obama to stand behind his former chief of staff.

"Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teachers' union strike is unnecessary and wrong," Mitt Romney's running mate said at a campaign fund-raiser in Portland, Oregon.

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"We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel," Ryan continued.

The Chicago Teachers Union, which represents nearly 30,000 teachers and support staff in the nation's third-largest school district, called the strike after negotiators failed to reach a contract agreement with school administrators despite eight months of talks.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that Obama had yet to make an assessment on the walkout, but that the president's chief concern is for students and families affected by the strike.

Ryan urged Obama to take a stance on the labor tumult in his hometown.

"This does not have to divide the two parties," Ryan said. "And so we're going to ask, where does President Obama stand? Does he stand with his former chief of staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with the children and the parents, or does he stand with the union? On issues like this, we need to speak out and be very clear."

Earlier Monday, Romney released a statement expressing disappointment in the union's decision to strike, saying the group was putting self-interest ahead of students and parents. He also implicated Obama, saying the president has long sided with the unions, which are reliable sources of Democratic political donations. Unlike his running mate, Romney did not explicitly state his support for Emanuel.

Emanuel said he did not view Romney's remarks as helpful.

"While I appreciate his lip service, what really counts is what we're doing here and I don't give two hoots about national comments scoring political points or trying to embarrass or whatever the president," Emanuel said at a news conference.

Republicans have gone after public sector unions as a budget-cutting strategy in certain states and have demonized them as part of a broader attack on organized labor.

READ MORE: Political barbs fly amid Chicago teachers' strike


Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    Ryan thinks he is smarter than the president to take the bait he is trying to set up! Paul Ryan is just a rookie and it is showing more and more!! Wanda Sykes said Ryan was Eddie Haskell, hilarious!!

    September 10, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Kr55

    Everyone moment of every day is a chance to chime in and try to score some political points.

    September 10, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Pete

    Ryan better watch out ,Romney will send him to time out for standing against his stance today,saying give school principals the authority to fire and hire at will any and all teachers they see unfit..Ryan just trying to be supportive,but with whom,with those nasty democrates,how disgusting siding with the enemy,how nice,maybe us mean Democrates will spare Ryan the guillotine right!!Romneys flipping on Obamacare,now his vice Pres buddy turning on him now,are the wheels coming off the republicans wagon,betcha it will after the debates!!

    September 10, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    I bet this is a diversion....

    September 10, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Slightly Left of Center

    The only group that gets more (tax-payer funded) time off than teachers is congress. And congress always votes themselves a pay increase for accomplishing nothing and all the other benefits they get. Instead of just getting elected, THEY should have to negotiate their contract with the American public.

    It's high time we DEMAND more from the politicians who are suppose to work for US!!! If they had to negotiate a contract, they'd have their pay slashed by at least half, time off reduced to 3 weeks per year, would have to pay into their healthcare plan, and lose their pensions. Heck, they'd be fired for insubordination!!

    I'd rather have my tax dollars support the children in school than the children in Washington.

    September 10, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. DENNA

    He would, wouldn't he? GOPer are anti-union like you would not believe.

    September 10, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Nice try to divide Mr Ryan , how fast did you run that marathon ?

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that Obama had yet to make an assessment on the walkout, but that the president's chief concern is for students and families affected by the strike.

    September 10, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. amlcpamaine

    Those of us whose careers Bain destroyed think of the word "exploiter" when we think of Romney. And along comes the running mate, the great "opportunist."
    These guys are dirt.

    September 10, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Cam Spurgeon

    Lyin Ryan has the credibility of a big zero. Ugh Watch your back Mayor...

    September 10, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. California Gary

    OMG – did Romney really complain about the union putting self interest ahead of the students and families? Kind of like he put self interest ahead of families and children when he closed down businesses while running Bain? He didn't care what impact his decisions had on families then, only what would put the most money possible in his own pocket. This sounds kind of like a pot and kettle thing.........

    September 10, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. ephraim

    wow, ryan is an idiot... the minute their poll numbers look bad he and romney starting softening one dimension of rhetoric and give false praise just to look bipartisan. still while rahm is right, ryan and his fellow republican idiots are significantly to blame as obama's jobs bill they have held-up and held the american people hostage with is why we have striking teachers in chicago.

    September 10, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. ObamaCares

    Lying Ryan is such a clown. Where's the "less government" he's been crying about? He hasn't taken rMoney"s advice to stay out of Chicago.

    September 10, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. TPF

    I wish more teachers across this country would do the same thing. Government has pushed the teachers around way too long. Send the kids to the so called famous education saviors, the Corporation schools so called Charter schools. They are now the answer to everything that is wrong in the education system. When those Charter Schools are held accountable to the academic standards then things could change. But all they are doing is stealing the tax payers money from the Public Education systems and lining their wallets. The latest to fall for this scam is the State of Louisiana and the Great Bobby Jindal and his chosen one John White(State supt. of Education)

    September 10, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  14. Chipster

    Then Emanuel must be wrong.

    September 10, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. The Big Ticket

    Go Teachers/Union!

    September 10, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. Golden Wolf

    The teacher walk out is an issue that must be worked out by the parties involved. Mit and Ryan should not be mixing it with national issues. Obama should not allow himself to be drawn into Chicago's local issues.

    September 10, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. ronb

    Well, Mr. Mayor, if you needed any clearer a picture of why you are on the wrong side of this issue look no further than "Lyin Ryan"!!! It's easy to beat up on teachers because you believe they are defenseless. BUT, once those mommies and daddies have to start skipping work to take care of and educate their own little ones, things change in a hurry! Mommy and daddy will start to call your office to complain beacuse they have to skip work and so will businesses for the same reason. So, you can play the republican game of teachers' unions are bad, but really....who's wating in the wings to beat down the doors and take all of those jobs??? I mean, the salary is crap. The rewards are crap. AND, teachers get to be blamed for everything wrong with society. You picked a fight with the wrong group of patriots!!

    September 10, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  18. Romney/Ryan = Bought & Paid For All Along

    Big shock! "Lyin Ryan" takes a side against teachers and workers. The fat-cats who are paying him to kill Medicare don't care for unions either.

    September 10, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  19. Larry L

    The private schools attended by the children of the rich don't worry about teacher salaries or unions. Most of the kids are white, from educated parents, well fed, and transported to school by soccer moms in SUVs. This spoiled preppie has no idea what it's like to be a teacher trying to make it on low wages. Why is it assumed teachers must always have salaries at the bottom of the pay scale for college educated professionals? Are they worth less than a member of the U.S. Congress? Is anything?

    September 10, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  20. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Hay lyin Ryan ,while your out that way ,maybe you can explain that 60,000 dallar campaign donation or bribe you took and had to return from the casino owner in your home state ?????

    September 10, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  21. Arbogast

    Criminy, now the Republicans want the President to get involved in local government? Hypocrites. Let Chicago work it out. As to Romney's contention that the teachers are putting themselves ahead of students and parents, well, duh. They're professionals fighting for what they consider reasonable contractual work rules and conditions. They look at Emanuel's demands as union busting. No one else is looking out for them. I'm not saying I agree with them, but I do agree with their right to engage in collective bargaining and to strike. As unions go, they're kind of cooperative, as this is their first strike in 25 years. I hope Obama says, "Let the mayor and the union work it out."

    September 10, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  22. T'sah From Virginia

    ►On issues like this, we need to speak out and be very clear."◄
    But on your own issues about LOOPHOLES you gave NOTHING for our ears!!
    And according to Emanuel, RobMe is just trying to score "political points...to embarrass or whatever the president"
    RobMe even sold out his #2 in regards to sequestration-He blamed Paul Lyan – "the permanent Congress resident!"

    RomneyHood is a SELL OUT – He will sell his soul if the offer was good enough!!!

    The President will make his own decision before speaking on this – This is the problem RobMe/Lyan have – they jump out there FIRST and then end up with a disease – Foot in Mouth!!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    September 10, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. DocHollywood

    Ryan supports something against the unions? What a surprise. Unfortunately for Ryan, this is a local issue, not a national one. Let Chicago handle it's problems to their satisfaction. If you want Obama to oppose the unions, Mr. Ryan, how about you admitting that you voted for the sequester (which meant defense cuts), you wrote a budget to cut medicare by the same dollar amount as Mr. Obama's savings, and that the GM plant wasn't Mr. Obama's fault. Betcha won't do that, though.

    September 10, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. Ed1

    Unions don't belong in the public sector period no tax dollars should be spent for any union jobs that's our money and that's it.

    You should think about the kids and if you are doing your job then your performance should be no worry about keeping your job.

    We want the best teachers for our kids and if you can't perform then get another job.

    September 10, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. hot air warrior

    It an't easy being locked all day in a classroom filled with 32 middle school students and it an't easy being stuck with politicians who can't compromise.

    September 10, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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