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. Dnick47

    Teacher's are public employees and they do not have the right to strike. Fire one and all unless they report back to work in a day and make them make up the days lost without pay with extra cooling cost due to the year running into the summer months from their reduced pension plan. By the way Repubs, I lean to the Democrats and support Obama but I mean every word of this.

    September 11, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Indu

    Teachers in India who teach 10th,11th and 12th class students are paid $6000/month. Only Top Teachers are paid this amount. There are top schools like Bansals[Kota,Rajasthan] and Sri Chaitanya Schools and Narayana Schools[South India] where in Teachers are treated as Heros. Especially Math and Physics teachers are paid the best amount. Unfortunatly, teachers in america are not respected or revered as Heros or simply not that talented. Children here respect JLO,KIM KARDSIAN,TEEN MOM and other reality shows. The problem in this country is with students,teachers and parents.

    September 11, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Tammy

    I voted for President Obama, given our choices again I'll end up voting for President Obama again. (I'm neither democrat nor republican) There's something not quite right in this picture being painted for us regarding this strike. First, the union.... ANY person who has EVER been part of a union should NEVER be hired with a company..... EVER. Unions have helped destroy our businesses. GET RID OF UNIONS NOW! Secondly, those who are a part of ANY UNION STRIKE should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY,ESPECIALLY if they are interrupting our children's education, and interrupting our local, state or federal government ability to function. Also, this Mayor Rahm Emmanuel stinks. I don't know what the stinch is, but he stinks. Do just a quick search on him and check out his history, you can tell a lot about a man by where he's come from, and I'm not too sure I like where he's come from. Lastly, with all the flip floppers in and with our representatives, I detect someone who just might be flipping. If anyone from Mitt Romney's team is backing him, and I do mean ANYONE, Chicago watch out!

    September 11, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Mike

    Striking to reject average 74K and 16% increase over next 4 years?! With all due respect, teachers, you just lost my support.

    September 11, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. selfevolved

    How is this any different from Gingrich and Romney praising Bill Clinton? It's all political ploys during an election year.

    September 11, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. joeinalabama

    B0's views are still evolving, he can't tell what will get him the most votes yet.

    September 11, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. badunion

    unions are bad,i am so sick and tired of unions doing crap like this. They got guaranteed wages and jobs and vacations and benefits and compensations and MORE! gosh we must stamp them out in order to reform our education system

    September 11, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. v_mag

    That's funny. Most Chicago parents side with the Teachers Union. Not gonna win a lot of votes with that strategy, Lyin' Ryan.

    September 11, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Of course he does. Ryan hates unions because they work on behalf of workers rather than on the behalf of the corporate elite. (90% of the gains from economic growth in the past 20 years has gone to the top 0.01%.) And teachers are the worst: imagine, people - mostly women - with college degrees having the temerity to expect to be paid a modest wage and get retirement benefits and health care. That's SOSHULISM.

    September 11, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. Mike smith

    Can you imagine disagreeing with a jewish mayor ?

    September 11, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  11. Dustin Goldsen

    As usual Paul Ryan is wrong. The President should not express an opinion on what is basically a local issue. The Federal government should stay out of this unless the labor department is asked to mediate collective bargaining talks. Even then the Federal government would remain neutral so as not to bias the negotiations.

    September 11, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. Howard

    Although I don't agree with the walkout because of the massive collateral effect on the children and families at least this union still has their collective bargaining rights. Unfortunately striking is one of those rights but the extreme act might be just the push the two sides need to get a deal done.

    September 11, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. fekt

    "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."

    You can support both and reach a compromise. It's the all or nothing mentality of my way or the highway that's destroying this country. thanks for illustrating it ryan the genius.

    September 11, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. Geo

    One of the reasons unions, private and now public, are losing ground is partly due to their incredible stupidity. At a time when there is an all out assault on teachers and other public workers, they are drawing negative and unsympathetic attention to their cause. Foolish.

    September 11, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Vader

    The Chicago teachers' strike is a local issue, and Rep Ryan (R-Wis) has no business interjecting himself into it in any way, shape, form or fashion. Neither does the President, and he should keep out of it. This is between the local union and the city. Isn't that at the heart of the Republican philosophy? What does he think trying to politicize it at the national level will accomplish beyond trying to put President Obama in an awkward position, in essence attempting to force him to take sides between Rahm Emanuel and the union?

    Talk about an overreach...

    September 11, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. Adam

    Chicago teachers are already the highest-paid in the nation, with an average salary of ABOVE $70,000 BEFORE OTHER BENEFITS. They just want more, more, more!

    Also, the evaluation system that they are rejecting only has FORTY PERCENT of their evaluation based on how well their students do. Forty percent, and they're objecting to that! Sure, there might be outliers or a teacher might have a bad year, but their average has consistently shown whether they are a bad or good teacher. OH NO, we can't have THAT! We can't have people actually evaluation on how well they perform, what is the world coming to???

    September 11, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  17. Eileen Terwilliger

    I am suprised that Ryan is not chasing ambulances trying to make campaign issues out of those too...just report the news and not the latest political manuevers...

    September 11, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. Al

    Sounds kind of nice on the surface....but you can bet your union dollar Rahm will cave in....His teacher Obama taught him how to suck up to these OVERPAID teachers like Obama did with the auto workers at the expense of thousands of non-union jobs lost. These liberals don't have the back bone to stand up for what is right.

    September 11, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. Pat

    The elites never stop amazing me. this teachers' strike is about how jacked up the Chicago school system is. never mind now poorly paid the teachers are? lets not even think about what a hell hole of a school system they work in (remember it is Chicago). witching the Republicans and Democrats joining forces on a working class mob is like watching a fat kid cursing his own feet because he's to short to get more cookies off a kitchen counter. We should give them a tax cut? Then, it well all feel better!!!

    September 11, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. ComesATime

    A labor strike by overpaid teachers that affects 400,000 Chicago Children...
    Yet Chicago's favorite son, President Barack Obama,
    When asked about the situation says 'no comment'.
    This is what is wrong with this President
    This is what is wrong with America.
    ROMNEY 2012.

    September 11, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. Larry Mullins

    Ryan has it wrong when he says the President should stand with the children and parents, or the Union. He should be saying "stant with the teachers" Ryan is a Union Buster. That's his goal. I alway mention, when defending the Union, I'm old enough to remember, Unions made bad mistakes in decades back. But when you crush out the Unions, as happened since Reagan. You take away all the bargaining power labor has to deal with management. Ryan Is anti-labor. /would like to takes us back to slave labor. We must fight to reverse this trend, so labor can once again stand strong against business. And public service.

    September 11, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. Matt

    Can hear a cricket chirp.. What's wrong libs? No comment on union action when it impacts children and parents? Hopefully the President can man up and take a position on this. Teachers should be treated like the air traffic controllers union..

    September 11, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Jeff

    Where the heck is Obama on this????? Is he for the children or the union?

    September 11, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. ComesATime

    God forbid that Obama would take the side of the children on this one.
    You know, protect the weak and helpless like he claims he does.
    But wait, that would be really good for the children.
    But it would also mean making the unions mad.
    And children can't vote.
    But unions can.

    Where is the leadership and moral compass of Barack Obama? Notably absent.

    September 11, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Jeff

    What's Obama's position????? Once again, "Not Present"

    September 11, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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