Ryan sides with Emanuel on Chicago strike
September 10th, 2012
06:58 PM ET
6 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. Brian

    Tying teachers evaluation to standardized test scores is a lazy way out for the administrators, so they they don't have to do any real work in evaluating effectiveness.

    September 11, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  2. Al

    Emmanuel should be proud of his union friend that are protesting and ignoring their jobs all in the name of holding a country a state or a city hostage. This is yet another fine example that unions are not wanted when even the Democrats are saying that the actions of the union to go on strike is unwarranted. I guess he will not be getting votes from them next time around. But the fact that at one time in America unions were a good thing, today with all the laws that are in place unions are no longer needed and only serve themselves to stay in control of the people that are loyal followers and not knowing that the laws of the country today would protect them better and put more money in their own pockets. Now do the teachers turn and go back to the classroom with their heads down low and their tail tucked, for they have been called out. They should have really realized that the country does not like unions and feels that those who strike are not wanting to go out and really earn money. Now what do you do ladies, do you go teach and do your job, or do hold the sign, either way it does not matter, it shows your greed.

    September 11, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  3. JD

    It really aggregates me to hear commentators spouting off about teachers. I agree with the teachers who do not feel it is equitable that such a large portion of their rating is being placed on a single test by their students. I taught for many years under this philosophy – it isn't fair to our students or their teachers. Here's one example that happened to my friend. We taught in a school with a high transient population – she had approximately 125 students on test day, she was so happy for them when almost 90% of them passed the state test. She received a ding for her testing scores. How could be possible...well 5 students didn't take the test (their parents didn't want their child 'labeled' based on a single test) so those kids did't count; 35 kids had not been present on a 'snap shot' day that previous fall – so they didn't count; 20 didn't have previous state test scores – so they didn't count. So, she was down to about half of her students who were going to 'count' towards her rating – so even though she had worked hard all year with these 125 students (plus many more who transferred out) her value was going to be determined on only a small portion of her students on a single test. Even though she wasn't happy about this she felt she should have been okay ... Wrong. Even though 'Johnny' passed his state test – he didn't have enough 'growth'! (What? If, 'J' got a 75% on his 6th grade state math test and got a 75% on his 7th grade state math test – it was considered a failure for his teacher. Even, though she had helped him learn to navigate the transition from sheltered elementary to junior high and learn a new level of mathematics – the district considered him a failure on his teacher's part.). I have seen so many good teachers leave the profession because of the over emphasis on a single test. The hours, days of lost teaching/learning time to test prep and test taking skills is horrible. Do we need education reform – yes, however we have got to stop over emphasizing the be all end all labeling of students and teachers on a single test and allow teachers to help their students become thinkers and problem solvers...

    September 11, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. Rob

    It must be the republicans fault – Wait..... there aren't any republicans in Chicago..... Oops. Problem.

    September 11, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. Hadenuffyet

    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.

    And they've always been that way...that's just how they roll..they want to keep workers down and bosses up.

    September 11, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  6. MikeB

    Who were the Brown Shirts that conned the Teachers into striking to get this media moment for the Obama camp?

    September 11, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  7. Jean

    Seems to me this is a local issue and up to Chicago to deal with. GOP has always supported more control at the state level and less federal interference so why are they butting into this local problem now? Just to score points.

    September 11, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  8. Economystic Extraordinaire

    Everybody can't be a salesman. In a democracy we pick a leader to represent us. Sometimes the leader has to make the hard choices.

    September 11, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  9. nolongerarepublican

    It grosses me out enough hearing about two normal looking men in bed together, but two of the ugliest men in the world in bed together smoking after "the act", is too horrible to imagine.
    Besides, won't Romney get jealous about this new fling?

    September 11, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  10. Art


    September 11, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  11. overdose

    Feds should focus on fed stuff, not in state / city affairs.

    September 11, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  12. P

    Yes, it is true, a Dem that has a spine! this ex-Obama voter is shocked to see this from the union party. Guess he must have a concience and a brain. Whats Rahms political play here, cause you know he doesnt make a move without one

    September 11, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. Togo

    Ryan has an issue with unions? Shocking.

    September 11, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  14. Doug

    While a teacher goes to college for 5 to six years, with about 100 to 150,000 in student loans it's really impossible to think of paying them under 70 thousand a year .... Then to have the district to tell you it is your job to make the kids learn..
    Now this seems crazy, but we are talking about kids from the hood, they have really no family support and yet the blame lies on the teacher.. I did well in school, but my parents constantly taught me, we are talking about something quite different .. There is no way the teachers should sign a contract that makes them responsible for kids who basically are being raised by animals.. That's really what's happening here.. I support these teachers.. We need to call out what's really going on in this country.. The union should be telling the public how many of it's teachers get stabber every year..

    September 11, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  15. MP

    Teachers are suppose to be professionla and are not factory workers... i am sure it is the senior teachers who are union activists that are behind the strike. Newer teachers are forced to join the union. If a teacher does more than expected it sometimes causes the other teachers to attack the hard worker because afterall ... according to the union I am only reguired to do the following

    September 11, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  16. CalDude

    The union is biting the hand that feeds it.
    This will be interesting. Being a democrat and a liberal, Rahm Emanuel has always support the unions. Lets see what he does.

    My prediction is Emanual will pretty much give the union whatever they want... and in return the union will give a generous kick back to the democratic party.... as usual.... a big fat scam against the American people.

    September 11, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  17. Libdumb

    Pay the teachers whatever they want. The faster Chicago goes bankrupt the better off the rest of the Country will be.

    September 11, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  18. tim

    That Ryan, what a racist. He hates kids and teachers. oh wait he agrees with Rahm. Kudos my good man.

    September 11, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  19. Greg

    "Obama had yet to make an assessment on the walkout" – Translation: "Obama is waiting until a couple dozen Public Opinion Polls are released before he issues his Opinion...which will undoubtedly agree with whichever side the Majority of poll respondents fall on...thus insuring his "stance" on the issue doesn't cost him any votes in November"

    September 11, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  20. Libdumb

    The most incompetent educational City in this Country compliments of the Teachers Union.

    September 11, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  21. allison

    Rahm had such a disdainful tone when speaking about Romney's remarks.Very classy, Rahm.

    September 11, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  22. Jerry

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the most ungrateful moron in the USA, right after the Obamboozzeler, of course!

    Enough said!

    September 11, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  23. DJones

    We are living in a time when almost everyone is hurting. It is ridiculous that in such a time the teachers would strike demanding more when they are already paid better than most who have a similar education. And their determination to demand that American citizens to pay teachers who aren't doing their job is insane. Education is important, but it is no more important than housing, food, healthcare, and many other demands on our limited revenues. What needs to happen if teachers and their unions won't back off is the implementation of the voucher system. Let the public schools compete with the private sector schools who at this time are giving kids a better education in a safer environment at less than half the cost.

    September 11, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  24. mfoxman63

    Just another example of a do nothing self proclaimed leader. I'll stand by the side and just hope things work themselves out cause if I make a stance, somebody is gonna be mad at me.

    September 11, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  25. Marc in Florida

    If Ryan agrees with Emanuel then Emanuel has to rethink his position. Ryan would actually agree with a democrat as long as it involved an attack on unions. All you Republican salaried workers keep an eye. One day it was the teachers, and nobody spoke, then the assempbly line workers and nobody spoke, then they stopped minimum wage hikes and nobody spoke, then they came for me and there was nobody left to speak. That goes for Medicare and Social Security too. WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    September 11, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
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