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
Who would want this wipe on their side?
Ahhh Ryan and Romney talking about being very clear.... the irony is amazing.
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.
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.
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!
Of course, he would side with Emanuel. This country hates its teachers!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
This is what an Obama Presidency looks like..
high gas prices
downgraded American Credit
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
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?
Where does Mitt stand on this?
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$
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?
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.
"Emanuel said he did not view Romney's remarks as helpful."
Didn't you mean 'Ryan's comments?'
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.
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......
When he finds out who Emanuel is, he will flip – or is it flop this time?
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.
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.
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?