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
Can they do one thing on their own? Just one, without attempting to frame it so Obama looks bad? One piece of policy. One fresh idea, without mentioning the word "Obama".
With all the hoopla in Chicago and difficulties the last thing they need is a selfish jerk from Janesville capitalizing on the misery. These people like Ryan and Romney are like vultures just feeding on hate. If the republicans values local and personal rights they need to show and STAY out of IT! These people can do things better without their interference. But then they are in everones faces.
Supporting the teachers is supporting the children. Too bad the the fatal flaw of which the is GOP si known for is once again front and center....its not an either or situation. Its about the good of the people...most importantly.. Its about COMPRIMISE. A subject the GOP knows nothingn about.
hmmm, one of the issues Romney/Ryan have been talking about is... getting Americans back to work
but i guess this matter is an exception
What! Ryan says he sides with management against the workers?? Fear not, Union members.Like always, Ryan is lying.
Ryan only sides with emanuel because he hates unions, not that he gives a crap about the Chicago school system. He would side with the devil if he thought the devil was a republican. Charles manson is a republican so maybe he has a future.
Regardless of my political views, Paul Ryan has earned my respect. I wish he was running for President. Reminds me of JFK.
The teachers are plain wrong. They want to get more money I get that but this is not the time to extort cash from the city.
I wonder if MSDNC & CNN know today is the anniversary of the attack by and murder of 3000 innocent people Muslims on 9/11?
Never forget, Never forgive.
Stay out of it buddy. You don't have a dog in this fight.
When was the last time this guy went into a school and saw what conditions were like. If he goes to visit , he only sees the dog and pony show. I'm liking this guy even less.... I'd be more impressed if he went and saw the conditions and spoke to the teachers.
Obama should act in this dispute...fire all the teachers and hire new teachers...there are hundreds of thousands of newly retired baby boomers who are highly educated and trained out there. They'll be more than happy to take a teaching position. Relax all the education credits requirements and the result will be that Chicago will have the best teaching force in its history.
These chicago teachers are out of line and have no real grievances except to disrupt the school system and flex their muscles. Obama should show them what that will get them...just like Reagan showed the air traffic controllers when they struck.
its not 'demonzing unions'. Unions are just plain bad. Rahm is having to deal with a budgetary issue and he is finding out that governing is about doing right and not about being democrat or republican. The chicago teacher union is evil.
Sure, Mr Prez you agree with them just like Romney agreed with the health care issue...yes we should focus on the kids but, what about the teachers kids and the way teachers and others sacrifice for us. they need votes and they need them bad so keep away from issues that's local. plus what about getting government out of our local issues they forgot that. RIGHT
I think Obama should allow local politics to play out without getting the White House involved. I understand Ryan is trying to make this into an attack on unions as a whole, and is trying to make Obama choose a side, but the federal government does not need to get involved in every issue.
Shame on these desperate politicians for using this issue to benefit themselves during an election. This kind of behavior is unconscionable.
This is a tough one. It's hard on the kids and parents, who I imagine are mostly upset about the loss of free babysitting. But, if unions don't strike when it hurts the most, they become ineffective. And, if unions are ineffective, the middle class in the United States disappears.
Rahm Emanuel is a traitor to the Democratic party and to the hardworking people that elected him. Democrats are supposed to be for the working class but we see Rahm Emanuel is more like a Republican than a Democrat. GO TEACHERS!
Appreciation of lip service. lol.
"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." See if you can spot the editorializing...
I'll tell you what's wrong. Politicians are so bad at positively representing the interests of the people that they have to resort to waving their finger at us when we get screwed by them. That's what's wrong.
Of course the anti-union Republicans are going to side against any union. It doesn't matter whether the cause is legitimate or not. They don't care. All unions are evil to them. They stand in the way of the Republicans quest of total corporate domination.
The Republicans are for big business and the Democrats are for big government. They could care less about the welfare of the citizens of this country. The responsible thing to do would have been to first find out why the teachers are striking.
This is a tough call as the issue is teachers being graded on student performance. Many of which stay up late (gangs), don't study, don't care, and use drugs before, during, and after school. This goes for any large city where poverty exists like Chicago or any large city. Chicago is just the start for addressing this issue.
Well said Emaunel, lip service and scoring points to make the President look bad. If it weren't an election year you would not hear from the GOP. So what if they agree or disagree, it is your town, to handle your problems.
"..trying to embarrass or whatever the president."
Ryan is only saying this B.:S for political gain prior to this strike neither he nor Mitt has said anything about improving the education system in our country. I sill cannot believe with 2 months left and they are still scoring for talking points with no plan or specifics in sight. This is beyond acceptable!!!!!! The republican party should be ashamed and even disqualify these two idiots from the race... If such ruling exist- most embarrassing presidential candidates of all time!!!!!!!!