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. n

    Who would want this wipe on their side?

    September 11, 2012 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  2. Anthony A

    Ahhh Ryan and Romney talking about being very clear.... the irony is amazing.

    September 11, 2012 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  3. Jesse

    After 4 years of hearing about Obama "overreaching" against the states, all of the sudden Romeny and Ryan find it necessary that he pick a side on a LOCAL issue. Do you really want the president to read through the teachers' contract and pick a side? Ridiculous.

    September 11, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  4. patw

    Ryan sounds like the typical liberal. Wanting to inject the federal government into a local education issue. The liberals won't be happy until the federal government controls every aspect of our lives.

    September 11, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  5. jnpa

    Emanuel is right. Ryan is only trying to gain political points in all of this and trying to force the President to take a stand. This is not a national issue so Emanuel's comments concerning Ryan were appropriate. There are teachers' strike all over the country but this one is made a national issue? Why? So Ryan and the GOP can gain political points. They don't really care about the students or teachers. They just want to get elected at all costs!

    September 11, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  6. Fischer

    Of course, he would side with Emanuel. This country hates its teachers!

    September 11, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  7. orlop

    If "the president's chief concern is for students and families affected by the strike" you would think that he would step in to help resolve the issue. But no, to have an opion on the matter might risk his re-ellection. So it is more about him than students and families. Yes he really understands middle class concerns.

    September 11, 2012 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  8. David

    I'm amazed that in this day and age we can allow union thugs to use 350,000 US children as pawns in their dirty games. Unions have no place in the public sector and strikes should be illegal!

    September 11, 2012 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Paul Ryan is a true American and wants to help the real victims for this strike...all the government cheese that is going to waste from uneaten school lunches!

    September 11, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  10. thishasgottawork

    I will be voting for Romney/Ryan in the general election, but Rahm's answer is right. This is not a national issue. It is between the teachers of Chicago and the city of Chicago. All people of Chicago. They need to work this out. That is the beauty of our Federal system, at least as it is suposed to be...they stay out of our local business.

    September 11, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  11. The Halls For Obama

    It about time you stand for something. The only reason you standing for this is because you think this will pull people away from President Obama. Go find Mitt tax return.

    September 11, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  12. Smoothshocker

    Paul Ryan is a true American and wants to help the real victims of this strike...the government cheese going to waste from all the uneaten school lunches.

    September 11, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  13. beanne

    This is what an Obama Presidency looks like..
    teachers striking
    nurses striking
    Doctors striking
    no jobs
    low pay
    high gas prices
    downgraded American Credit
    class warfare
    a middle east being taken over by Muslim thugs
    Healthcare costs rising...and inability to get treatments and tests done in a timely manner
    grocery cost rising
    and Zombies!!!!!!!!!

    September 11, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  14. Rick

    How come politicians can agree quickly on issues like "we support Israel" on their party platforms but don't take the time to try to help out teachers?

    September 11, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  15. The Halls For Obama

    Where does Mitt stand on this?

    September 11, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  16. eleanor

    What are the issues that they cannot reach agreement on? Teachers across the country have been taking their cuts in salaries and benefits. Class sizes are larger. School days are longer. When times get better fewer gifted people are likely to choose teaching as a carreer. That will cost society more in the long run. But this is not a national controversy. Paul Ryan should butt out! Why is it that the GOP mantra is that "We all have to accept sacrifices." for the good of the country when unions ae involved.. But that never seems to apply to Coporate CEOs or the 1$

    September 11, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  17. Frank Ewing

    Someone I know stated yesterday these teachers are making $76,000 before benefits as I recall, he happened to be a Republican. Regardless of party, in researching the matter it looks like teachers start around $46,000 and can work their way up to $76,000 after many years. If Chicago's cost of living is anything like New York City's, where I'm from, that amount doesn't sound unreasonable. It's interesting to note that I do not hear anyone talking about the top earners in this country making millions and millions.....Is a teacher, a good dedicated teacher not worth what they are being paid at least?

    September 11, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  18. Wayne

    I never understood unions who have works in the Public Sector. Public sectors are tax consumers and when you took the job of a teacher, you knew the pay wasn't going to be great. And if the distrcit is going to raise standards on teachers, then dont teacher. Im sure there are other teachers out there who are in need of a job that would take hte job just to get paid and teach.

    September 11, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  19. Dink Gerbers

    "Emanuel said he did not view Romney's remarks as helpful."
    Didn't you mean 'Ryan's comments?'

    September 11, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  20. dubrats

    a few facts you won't read on cnn....

    chicago area teachers salaries average $76.000 a year

    (and that is NOT EVEN INCLUDING all the benifits,etc.)

    the average family in the chicago area makes $46.000 a year

    chicago area teachers are the highest paid in the nation...THE HIGHEST!!

    and it's still not enough?....fire them all and rehire teachers that would love that kind of money.

    September 11, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  21. James Johnson

    Satanical Rohm Immanuel picks up Lyin Ryan as his supporter........ I'll stay with the Goodness brought forward by Chik Fil A Restaurants in being Christian based......

    September 11, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  22. noteabags

    When he finds out who Emanuel is, he will flip – or is it flop this time?

    September 11, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  23. fiftyfive55

    A 16% pay raise ??? How are they going to pay that when they arent paying bills as it is ? Chicago taxes ran a lot of business out because of taxes so homeowners in Chicago will probably have a huge property tax increase to pay for this.

    September 11, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  24. Anonymous

    This is how public union workers obtain one of their "sacred" contracts - these noble union teachers are shaking down the taxpayers, including by declaring war on parents who are usually both working outside the home without tenure or guaranteed raises (and in Chicago, who generally make 40% less than these teachers, the highest paid in the nation). Of course, Mayor Emanuel set this up as an early payoff for these victims of guaranteed jobs and benefits - how else could they justify a pay increase now? The longer school day will harm the poor kids that have to go to these schools - it is just a tool to get higher pay for these oppressed educators.

    September 11, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  25. Vincent

    What is it that the union wants? Could CNN perhaps outline some of the demands by the unions, and also what was offered by the government negotiators?

    September 11, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
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