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. Larry

    Just goes to prove teachers don't give a damn about the kids, it's all about the M-O-N-E-Y...

    September 11, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. tmc

    For some time now, BOTH policial parties have been against government employees getting higher salaries.. They seem to think that the costs of inflation don't affect them– including teachers.

    The same scapegoating happened in the 2010 – 2011 shool year in Wisconsin, Michigan and New York.. budget hacks looking for places to cut and save money!! Yet, tax cuts for wealthy are STILL a priority in many STATE governments, both DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN ALIKE.. in this they align & unite AS ONE!! The same party of evil..

    Primarily, this is STATE level politics and very much so a funding gap betwen inner city poor and wealthy suburbs and wealthy communities who want their tax monies spent ONLY on their districts... This issue has NEVER gone away since this combines with the civil rights victories.. Funding of integrated and/or poor minority schools has NEVER been equitable.. and the budget won't be balanced on the backs of teachers, they've given back too much already. Unions are disolved all across the southern USA and under attack in the north. The job is not as attractive as it once was for many reasons.. eroding tenure, increased hours, increased paperwork, professional development costs, higher contributions to pensions, healthcare, supplies along with increased costs of living. There is also eroding job security... the dog & pony show you have to go through JUST TO GET THE JOB is not worth the hassle of losing that job in a short time span.. If government wants temporary workers as teachers, they will have to expect DRASTICALLY LOWERED EXPECTATIONS on performance!! Just know this, if you want teachers to accept more accoutability for perforamnce and trade their job security, you're going to have to more than DOUBLE the starting & paygrade salaries for the profession!! You won't get these new concessions on the cheap, ANYWHERE in this country! This is worth striking for even in New York.You wouldn't expect an OIL rig woker to risk their lives for $10 an hour, would you with the record prices for OIL and gasoline?? If you want a literate citizenry.. PAY FOR IT!!

    September 11, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. john

    Its was a CBS news article. $76,000 salary (excluding benefits & pensions) and they are striking during school year abandoning their kids. According to that article, they want more job security and don't like the evaluation process proposed.

    September 11, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. John

    What a suprise... Obama hasn't decided who to support yet.... This guy is the leasder of our country?? pathetic....

    September 11, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. Knucklehead

    What would the 1% do if we all went on strike? We know how to build shelters. We know how to hunt. We know how to fish. We can cook. Can Mitt? He says he likes to fire people. What would he do if we all quit?

    September 11, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  6. Bob

    It is funny how the party of state autonomy demands federal control when it suits their political needs. Recall the cronyism of the republican federal Supreme Court forcing Florida to stop counting ballots so Bush could steal the 2000 election and plunge this county into this state we are in now?
    While I agree the children are being hampered in their education, eight months was plenty long enough for the Chicago school board to work out the issue to pay them fairly and keep the kids education uninterrupted. Maybe if the republicans would spend more on education than on $400.00 hammer in defense contract kick-backs to major campaign donors or millions in tax dollars paid to oil companies, who do not need it, this problem would not exist.

    September 11, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. Jambo

    Maybe Emanuel should ask Scott Walker what he would do. As I remember Emanuel had lots of comments about the Wisconsin strike. The nasty chickens have come home to roost.

    September 11, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. GG

    Obama is in a pickle on this one. Sure his spin masters are busy in the conference room scrum today trying to figure out what to do. LOL

    September 11, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  9. Bad Timing

    The timing of this strike has the potential to be a speed bump in the momentum for the President. He scored so many Political Points with the DNC last week, and just 2 days later, we have a teacher strike in his home town pitting Democrats v. Democrats.

    Unfortunately it derails the conversation of the National economy and National issues and turns this strike into a political toy.

    September 11, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. K DOG

    Eight months? i think not

    September 11, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. Kstarks

    Funny how Romney's taking the "high road" when his entire career has been based off his own self interest at the expense of parents, children and families. Way to go Mitt!!! Another flop to add to your record.

    September 11, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Loki

    Ha ha. There you have it. The teachers once again prove there should not be public service unions. It's a government within the government.

    September 11, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. angeson

    With a 40% drop out rate merit pay is off the table and this union should be ashamed of itself..

    September 11, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. Say_NO_to_four_more_years

    Teachers should be held to standards and evaluated just like every employee or contract holder.

    Time to eliminate the poor performers and raise the bar on our education system, not accept lower standards.

    Seniority should not be used as a tool on deciding who stays and who goes, performance metrics are expected and required by every employer – including public and private schools, especially K through 12.

    The Buck stops here – Now.

    And in tax payers and parents will hold this administration accountable.

    Elections have consequences.

    September 11, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. bobnc

    I cannot believe how fat the teachers are, so they certainly not starving...... not a very picture. I recall, that the teachers I had in High School were very thin, and trim. Porkers for sure. Oh Chicago " HOG Butcher for the World,
    Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,"Well forget the tool making that went to Sina, and as for as Wheat is concerned just drop the :WH" Stackers of EAT.....
    "

    September 11, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. trp48

    Does anyone even know why the teachers union is on strike? The last CNN article I read said they were offered a 16% pay increase over a 4 year period and that the average salary is around $73K a year. This just made it sound like the teachers were after more money. What a lot of other news articles don't tell you is that they rejected the pay increase because it was for longer school days and a longer school year. When yesterdays acticles were saying parents, churches and police were worried that kids were going to be getting into trouble since they weren't in school made it sound like the schools and teachers are just there to babysit and teach the students social skills. This is not the teachers job. The parents need to be held accountable for teaching their child right and wrong. You go to school to learn math, science, english , etc. Teachers don't have time to deal with unruly students who take valuable learning time away from other students. Now they want to make the school days and year longer. Sounds like they just want to make the teachers deal with the police and parents problem. if you really want to know what it's like teaching these students then put video cameras in the classroom, but we know that will never happen. I don't know, it just seems that the way things are going in this country right now with government policies, we are going to be loosing a lot of doctors and teachers real soon yet they bail out union auto workers. Things aren't looking too good.

    September 11, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. Lokust

    Why does Ryan think that the children and parents are against the teachers?

    September 11, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. glenview0818

    When are the Dems going to realize that the candidates they put in office do not do anything they promise. The teacher’s unions put all of their moneys into the Dem side. It would have been much smarter to give both sides money; even the NRA gives 17% to the Dems. Time for the teachers unions to get smart, but better yet, time for the teachers to get rid of the unions and create a professional organization that really represents them, and not blue-collar workers.

    September 11, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  19. bobmc

    "They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
    have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
    luring the farm boys.
    And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
    is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
    kill again.
    carl Sandburg.............

    September 11, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  20. Go USA

    The teachers ARE not winning the PR battle on this one. The optics look very bad.

    September 11, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  21. peanuts

    Yes, they do make strange "bedfellows." But sometimes truth wins out.

    September 11, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. joe

    Since when is this a Presidential issue?

    September 11, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. Guest

    the average teacher makes 70,000+ per yr plus benefits. The average worker in the private sector makes thousands less. I think it is outrageous for them to hose the American taxpayer.

    September 11, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. WhyDoesThisMatter

    Why does this need to be in the national campaign news at all. Since national republicans are SO much for small government let the local government work the issue out without input from either pair running for president. National level politics have absolutely no business delving into negotiations between the union and administrators of a local area.

    September 11, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. Alina1

    Teachers usually saying " its not about the money". I don't know what to say, everyone is struggling these days, at least they have Health care and jobs...
    They are dead wrong throwing kids under the bus.

    September 11, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
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