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. chick-a-dee

    If Ryan is agreeing w/ you, that's a sure sign you're wrong Mr. E.

    September 11, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  2. Wallster

    "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" ... Pot, meet kettle, Romney and Ryan are such phonies, both of them have always put their own self-interests ahead of others.

    September 11, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  3. yoyoma

    "It doesn't have to divide the two parties...but where do you stand?" Nice baiting. I think it's time for ALL U.S. and global workers to strike. Corporations have been raking in record profits since the W tax breaks...yet no jobs...at least not in the US. Don't be fooled by Eddie Munster. He wants to divide this country into have and have nots. Only he's got some of the have nots on his side because they're blinded by religion and the fear that someone's going to take their precious guns!

    September 11, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  4. Steve

    "This does not have to divide the two parties," Ryan said. And with that, he has contributed his meaningless two cents toward making the issue political. Duh.

    September 11, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  5. stambo

    Poor barry, can't a fellow get a break. First his party wants to dump God, which he wants us to think is against his own beliefs. Then the party wants to abandon the Jews, but barry himself says he supports the opposite. Those two issue pretty much pit barry against the wishes of the majority of his own party. How stupid is that?

    Now Obama's union thugs supporters have gone on strike, in his 'hometown' of Chicago none the less (thought he was born in Hawaii?), and the Republicans are crossing the isle in support of democrat Emanuel AGAINST the unionists. Now THAT is some funny stuff. Not even elected yet and Romney/Ryan supporting a democrat Mayor against the unions.

    Barrack Hussein Obama has to stand against his own party to protect God. Obama has to stand against his own party to protect the Jews. Will barry also now stand against his own party over the unions as well?! If he does the question has to be asked, who IS barry representing?

    So what's it going to be barry? Are you going to stand with the democrats and the unions OR are you going to stand with the Republicans and the average working American?

    September 11, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  6. John

    The BP clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico is hampered by the Jones Act. This is a piece of 1920s protectionist legislation that requires all vessels working in U.S. waters to be American-built, and American-crewed. So" the U.S. Coast Guard "can’t accept, and therefore don’t ask for, the assistance of high-tech European vessels specifically designed for the task in hand. "The Obama administration declined the Dutch offer partly because of the Jones Act, which restricts foreign ships from certain activities in U.S. waters. During the Hurricane Katrina crisis five years ago, the Bush administration waived the Jones Act in order to facilitate some foreign assistance, but such a waiver was not given in this case."

    This little known event is clear evidence of Obama's blind support for unions. He blocked advanced oil skimming vessels in order to protect "union" laborers. No interest is above the unions!

    September 11, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  7. florida (collage grad)

    hey teachers, heres he diffrence between you, and the rest of America. Let me walk into my empolyer and tell him they need to pay me more, and untill they do I will will not talk to any of my clients. Well, I would get FIRED. So put on your big boy/girl pants, get your selfish butts back in the class room, and relize that devided we fall.

    September 11, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  8. CJ3B

    ROMNEY/ RYAN 2012

    "Because UNIONS need to be eliminated"

    September 11, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  9. Roger

    The very first thing Hitler did when he came to power was to abolish unions.

    September 11, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  10. WeDon'tMatter

    Didn't he pass a law in Wisconsin to end collective bargaining? So, its really not news that he supports the mayor and not the union is it? That's just a no brainer. Since the teachers are wanting more money I really have no sympathy for them either, the average salary they said was $75,000 a year. With the average American struggling to make $12,000 a year they should take a 50% pay cut so the city could hire more teachers to get the class sizes smaller.

    September 11, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  11. Bob R., Maryland

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president's chief concern is for students and families affected by the strike. The children cannot learn much in overcrowded classrooms and neglected school buildings in low- to no-income communities. The teachers strike to benifit the children and their learning environment. Yes, teacher tenure is a poblem but union busting is not the answer! This case must be resolved by the state, NOT the federal government. I would be interested in hearing Dr. Jill Biden's views though.

    September 11, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  12. bectes

    Wow. Emanuel is unbelieveable. You have Ryan stating that although he knows Emanuel is obviously going to back the GOP campaign, he stiil supports him in stating that what the unions are doing is wrong. Then Emanuel chastistes Romney who is also basically backing him in stating his views about the strike. So much bipartisan cooperation.

    September 11, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  13. Bob R., Maryland

    The children cannot learn much in overcrowded classrooms and neglected school buildings in low- to no-income communities. The teachers strike to benifit the children and their learning environment. Yes, teacher tenure is a poblem but union busting is not the answer! This case must be resolved by the state, NOT the federal government. I would be interested in hearing Dr. Jill Biden's views though.

    September 11, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  14. Bill

    Obama will remain quiet on the issue. He doesn't want to lose his union backing.

    September 11, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  15. nolongerarepublican

    Ryan- Someone who has never had a real job in his life, lecturing us about working and work issues.
    LMAO

    September 11, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  16. Hombre

    I support the teachers! Enough with crapping on teachers. Treat them well before you make draconian demands upon the profession.

    September 11, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  17. DesMoiner

    What a shocker. The GOP's favorite Union Buster doesn't want anyone except his rich pals on Wall Street to get ahead. The City of Chicago should negotiate for the labor services of its teachers just as it negotiates for every other good and service it consumes. Just because this involves children, doesn't mean the teachers' collectively bargaining rights can be ignored (unless you live in the Peoples Democratik Republik of Wisconsin). Strikes are a painful, yet necessary part of the negotiating process. Too bad the rest of the amerikan workers can't see that.

    September 11, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  18. sparky

    of course he's against the voters and in favor of the Government.

    There ya go folks! Elect him! He won't negotiate with 26 thousand but you think he's going to help the individual!

    September 11, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  19. jacqueline

    Students suffer the most

    September 11, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  20. X

    Here is what they are asking the teachers in Chicago to do. Teach classes of 30-50 students in shoddy facilities with no resources (teachers actually had to negotiate and fight the city to give students text books the first day of school. City wanted to wait 6 MONTHS!!!???) and no help with all the social problem that come a long with an inner city school. Asking a teacher to be a security guard, a social worker and a psychologist. Then evaluate the teachers on these arbitrary test scores after not being given the resources to do their jobs, putting their jobs and at risks. This is all about breaking teacher unions and making public education a for profit farce. Rham Emanuel is a traitor and should get run out of town!!!!!!!!!

    September 11, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  21. hmmmmmmm

    President Obama doesn't want to comment because the strike is not supported by the people of Chicago , yet the Unions are huge supporters for him.

    September 11, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  22. clee0489

    "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."

    It did not take Obama any time flat to make an assessment when black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested for disorderly conduct and to declare on national TV that the police had "acted stupidly". Or to make an assessment on the Trayvon Martin case and assess that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon. But on this issue, he won't commit? Obama's one defining principle is that he stands firmly for or against whatever issue is opportune at the moment to be politically expedient and garner him the most votes, period.

    September 11, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  23. Jeffrey

    Politics! I hope the President lets Secretary Duncan comment on this. Mr. Ryan is struggling on the PR front, and for him to take this stance is pure politics. The President needs to focus on national education issues not a city issue such as this.

    September 11, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  24. Brenda Morrisey

    Teacher unions have long put their interests ahead of the kids they hired to teach. I say get rid of them. In the private sector, if the pay and benefits are not satisfactory, you find a job where it is. If you are right, the business owner will change things in order to retain good employees. You don't strong-arm your boss into submission and hurt your customers in the process. No one is in business to give you a job.

    September 11, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  25. Armyvet129

    Yeah, crickets in here on this one. It's laughable.

    September 11, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
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