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. Jeff

    Let Chicago handle their business. At the end of the day, neither the parents or the teachers will vote for Romney.

    September 10, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  2. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Teachers are tired of being used by the politicians, to help balance their mistakes!!! We have a life that requires all the same thing that politicians need, but for some stupid reason they do not see it that way. We are monks to them, and we are to sacrifice our families so that the dumb politicians who can't seem to run the country can reel their spending in! Well, don't strip the teachers, policemen and firefighters Politicians....we won't let that happen...some teachers are ready to walk away from teaching and lot the laymen take over. What a comedy that would be!

    September 10, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  3. Renee

    So this is how it will look like with out public schools.

    September 10, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  4. pffft

    Ryan doesn't care about anyone but himself and the wealthy. Shows it yet again.

    September 10, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. Ron

    As expected, this is Rahm's typical partisan response to an issue of great importance to the people of Chicago. There will be a great many things for Mr. Emanuel to disagree with after the election, but the political attack in lieu of a unified statement, proves detrimental to the children of Chicago and should be a personal shame.

    September 10, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. Jay Rehak

    Very bizarre that Mayor Emanuel is on the side of the Republican Union bashers. It is disappointing that the Mayor is so disrespectful of the working middle class. Although Republicans are rejoicing at the Mayor's decision to eviscerate Unions and destroy the working middle class, I remain disappointed that the Mayor has essentially abandoned the middle class in Chicago. It appears he is playing to the suburban city bashers. The question is "Why?"

    September 10, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Really? Ryan wants Obama to take a stand on a local issue? That is something they would want him to do because it would show that Obama wants to have the federal government over reach into the local level. I think that Obama really doesn't have any standing because his daughters don't go into any of the Chicago public schools. Let them resolve it on their own.

    September 10, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Anything that has to do against unions this lying cheat is for. There's a difference on Emanuel's reason and this guy.
    BTW – if you are working 40 hours a week, with two weeks vacation it's because of unions.

    September 10, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  9. blkpwr817

    And when the 2 sides come back to the table (which is probably what the president will urge them to do) & work things out, will Romney try to credit for everything likes he down before. Opposing an idea then flip flopping when it works out. The children in this situation are the most important. I'm sure they'll agree on something quick for their sake...

    September 10, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. romneyzda1

    Teachers unions and auto unions should not have the power they do. Obama bailed out the auto union and he is for teachers unions, that is why we have a failing education system and a failing auto industry. By saying he wanted the auto industry to have a managed bankrupcy, Romney was saying that he wanted to free the industry and is workers from the problems that ruined the industry, namely UNIONS. This position would start a rebirth of the auto industry not its end as Obama tries to say. The auto industry is on life support of the Federal Government. We need union free labor, so that we can compete and unleash the spirit of hard work and achievement back into our economy. Mitt knows this and will help create hard working good teachers, and hard working good industry.

    September 10, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  11. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Ryan needs to get his mouth out of this issue, as he is only attempting to anger both sides and prolong the strike. He knows nothing about unions, teachers, or for that matter working people in general. His entire agenda is to create an opportunity to demonize the teachers or the President!

    September 10, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  12. tammyk tammy

    1) Union members are parents with children who need decent pay and benefits so they can take care of their fanilies. 2) Ryan believes when corporations and the wealthy 1% look out for their selfish best interests that is good, but when hard-working middle class teachers look out for their best interests or unions look out for the best interests of all American workers that is bad. Do we really want the GOP to destroy the rights gained by unions which benefit all Americans and take us back to the conditions of the 1800s which caused unions to form in the first place? Think carefully about how you want to be treated at work before you vote.

    September 10, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  13. dottiiek

    Why is Ryan getting getting involved? Who the hell is he? Chicago will handle it on their own. Go back to to doing what you do best....lying.

    September 11, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  14. Steph

    Ryan and Rommney lost a voter today by them weighing in and choosing to side with Rham. The mayor is wrong here in the way he has dealt with the CTU and for Ryan to agree... Well the vote I was planning to make in Nov, sorry can't now.

    September 11, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  15. Disgusted

    Paul Ryan truly is Eddie Haskell.

    September 11, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. Sean74cnn

    Demonized them is right. Mitt Romney hates unions and hates for American workers to get a living wage. He'd rather see us like the Chinese Manfucturing workers who make products for Apple.. (every company deserves to be the richest in the world, even if it means sending jobs over-seas) He'd love to see us working 60 hours a week making minimum wage. Oh wait, was he against the minimum wage too?

    September 11, 2012 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  17. Dave A

    The repubes hate unions. When unions are strong the middle class has money and the economy is in good shape
    The repubes dont like this..go figure

    September 11, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  18. John Oboho

    "A drowning man will grab at even a straw".The Rommey camp is sure making a grab for political straw,& of course,sure to drown.They did not use thier opportunity when they had the world stage,to outline thier policies,they missed the life jacket,& now are making a grab for straws.They ought to know the US presidential election is a world election,& evryone's on it to judge how informed,& exceptional Americans are.

    September 11, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  19. Marry

    R and R are sooooo sick! This is not a question of witch side you are on and stoking the fire. It is about finding solutions for problems to be solved!
    A very good example why the GOP/TP is not capable of leading the country and all about division. “My way or the high way!” I know, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Teachers (union) will find a good way to solve this!

    September 11, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  20. Geoff

    I am truly saddened that Chicago's students will not learn about the mating rituals of penguins while the strike goes on. If a corporate executive is worth more than $250,000 annually then a good teacher has to be worth at least $250,001 per year. Pay the teachers so the students can get back to learning about the mating habits of penguins!

    September 11, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  21. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Ryan urges the President to stand behind Rahm ?

    Mr. Ryan, I thought it was the belife of conservatives that Washington shouldn't get involved in state and local matters ?

    So which is it Ryan ? Are you trying to instigate ?

    September 11, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  22. GrampaSez

    "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."

    That was dishonest, nasty, pointed and partizan... Author feeds the FALSE CARICATURE that Republicans cannot distinguish between UNIONS that exist to help their members, and UNIONS that exist in corrupt alliance with politicians.

    September 11, 2012 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  23. Steve

    Would would Obama chime in? This is a local issue. I thought Republicans were all about the federal government staying out of state and local matters.

    September 11, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  24. Gary

    Could Ryan's question be more weighted?

    September 11, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  25. Larry

    So hes speaking about the education strike. Since when in his idea of massive education cuts did he start caring about education because you know well educated knowledgable people is the last thing he wants

    September 11, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
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