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. marie

    Really Ryan? All of a sudden a certain issue doesn't have to divide the two parties? Since when?

    September 11, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. Zach

    "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." Sort of like firing hundreds of people in order to keep millions for oneself.

    It takes a lot of brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.

    September 11, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  3. Just Wonderin

    is it just me or do unions come across as "legalized crime" organizations? there's no such thing as job security anymore – not even nagotiated or contracted. labor unions true side certainly shows when crossed.

    September 11, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  4. joe

    I agree with both of them. The teachers need to get back to work ASAP. Be happy with a 16% raise, nobody is getting that.

    September 11, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  5. Hoosier61

    I don't understand why it is so surprising to the media to see someone from one political party agreeing with another political party on particular issue. That is what everyday normal people do many times every single day. No one in their right mind would ever take a party line stand on everything. Surely the those who are intelligent in the media know this, which obviously does not include CNN. Bottom line, no political party has it right on everything, which is why a political system based on party affiliations is both out-dated and ineffective. Until we move away from partisan politics and embrace common sense changes like term limits, the United States will continue to go down the toilet. We are already past the point of no return where nothing we can do at this point will save the U.S. All we can do now is try to limit how far we fall in terms of education and the economy. I certainly don't see any current candidates running for any office who have the ability to help us on either front. Sad....

    September 11, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  6. Case in Ohio

    Wow. Every single article you have related to Mitt Romney has a negative connotation. EVERY SINGLE ONE. How is that possible? Given the law of statistics, there should be atleast one that expresses a positive, or even neutral, tone of Romney. I am disappointed in your narrow field of journalism. I used to enjoy CNN's website and think that you were more "fair and balanced" than other media outlets. Unfortunately, I think you are leaning more towards MSNBC.

    September 11, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  7. Ben

    This is to be expected. Because both sides are corporatist and lobby-owned.

    The two parties really agree on much more than they disagree on, and we really don't have much of a two-party system compared to the rest of the Western world. We need ballot reforms for real third and forth options to make themselves viable in this country.

    September 11, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  8. libdumb

    Pay the teachers whatever they want. The faster Chicago goes bankrupt the better off the rest of the Country will be. The most ignorant City in this Country compliments of the Teachers Union.

    September 11, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  9. eric

    Wow, so Rahm has really stepped into this time, he should have asked permission on a stance from Obama before doing this. Now Obama has 3 choices:
    1. Stand with his fellow democrat and his opponents and spit in the faces of his largest supporters.
    2. Back his Union Thugs and spit in the faces of his old friend and make a lota parents mad.
    3. Do nothing, which in my view is what he is a master black belt in.
    Cant wait to see how this turns out!!!!

    September 11, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  10. realtalker

    I like Rahm's response to Ryan. But I think Rahm is on the wrong side of this issue. It isn't just about teacher pay. If that's all it was the union would have come to an agreement. The mayor and the school board didn't even sit down with the union to talk until a few days ago. They weren't interested in coming to a comprimise. They were only interested in pushing their agenda. The demands of the teachers are quite reasonable actually. They want limited classroom size. Currently they are teaching 40 plus students. They want it capped somewhere in the 20s. Smaller classroom size means the teacher can focus more on the individual students thus helping them acheive their goals. They want more social workers involved with troubled children. One of the biggest if not the biggest reasons that students in public schools are not succeeding is the fact that teachers tend to spend more time trying to control troubled students than teaching those who are there to learn. This isn't a problem that teachers can fix because it's roots are outside of the classroom in the home. A place where a social worker can access and help with the situation. They want air conditioning in the classroom. Students aren't going to pay attention if they aren't comfortable. This is an expense but trying to teach and trying to absorb a lesson in 95 degree heat in a room with 40 other people is near impossible. It's a reasonable demand. Teachers are some of the hardest working people out there. If you think they work 7 hour days and leave when the kids leave you are mistaken. They often work late and most if not all of them work several hours at home every day. My mother was a teacher. She worked a full day most saturdays preparing lessons and grading the students activities from the prior week. Teaching in the classroom is only about half of what they do. Sure they get summers off, but after putting in as much work as they do during the school year I can promise you they've earned it. If you were to divide their pay out by the hour, you'd be stunned at how little they make. And all they want to do is see YOUR child succeed in life. They sacrifice daily to do that. Show them your support.

    September 11, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  11. Seattle11

    Mr. Ryan are you sure that you side with Mr. Emanuel? You have been caught in so many lies, I really have a hard time believing anything you say.

    September 11, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  12. jack

    The cognitive disonance in processing Rahm Emanuel emulating Scott Walker has shut down all of the lefties posting their drivel on sites like this...

    September 11, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  13. Trace

    Damn right it's wrong, these kids need to be in school!!

    September 11, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  14. MITConcerv

    I called it. Media/CNN doing their part in this "Chicago Style" farce playing out in front of us. Media/CNN, Big Union, Rahm and the comity to re-elect setting the stage for Obama to come and save the day. You'll hear all the provda style outlets dog whistle that Public Unions and collective bargaining worked and the Pres was tough. Mark my word, the teachers will get nothing out of this.

    September 11, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. Willie12345

    The generous pay raises to teachers unions in the past have resulted in a terrible mess. The cities are going broke, but the unions feel very comfortable asking for more money. Democrats are owned by the Unions, so what will they do ? Rob the tax payers ? Steal from someone else ?

    September 11, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. liberal disease

    emanuel is a failure like his old boss

    September 11, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. t-bone

    Its refreshing to finally see a politician that doesnt waffle on his values just to stay the party line.
    Ryan has a philosophy and if it meshes with a Democrat so be it.
    Romney / Ryan will be as close to a partisan political group as we will see in this nation in a long time since 3rd parties are never considered serious contenders.

    September 11, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. K DOG

    I knew this was Obama's fault

    September 11, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. MITConcerv

    I should add, students, parents and Chicago will be the victims. Never let a good crisis go to waste...Hmmm who said that??

    September 11, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  20. TheRit

    The irony of things is that the educational system takes all the heat for the failures of society, and yet education is always the first part of the budget to cut! Shame on the GOP for demonizing these teachers! It's about time a group of teachers stand up for themselves. The FACT is the teacher workload has almost become too much to handle. Most of your core teachers, literally, do not even have time for their families when they get home (meetings after school, correcting, lesson planning, etc., etc.,). If the average person actually saw what these professionals do, and with love in their heart, I have no doubt America would be standing behind them!

    September 11, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  21. Hotdog

    Why can't the Republicans do this when it's time for them to legislate? The Republicans have signed an oath that will put them at odds with this President no matter what he proposes. If they can do it in this instance they can also agree to disagree for the benefit of the country. They think that compromise is a sign of weakness. Compromise is very important when negotiating with foreign heads of state. If it's done on that level to benefit the country then it should be done amongst our elected officials that represent us as well regardless of party of affiliation as long as it benefits the country.

    September 11, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  22. Libdumb

    Pay the teachers whatever they want. The faster Chicago goes bankrupt the better off the rest of the Country will be. The most incompetent educational City in this Country compliments of the Teachers Union.

    September 11, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. gerome

    Serves you well Ryan, for trying everything and anything you can to score political points. Now that you are desperate and slowly realizing that you are going to lose the election. Let's face it....you are desperate and will now, more than ever, do whatever you can .....
    Everyone knows that mitty and yourself are going to try something even more desperate in the comming two months. Heck your party is already trying to sabotage votes....we are waiting...cuz it's still not going to work.

    September 11, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  24. GTSBUCS

    This is disgraceful how the unions organized a strike in the interest of no one but themselves. This is only hurting the kids and parents. Unions are too strong and are a source of contempt everyehere their handprint is felt. Hopefully Rahm stands by what he is doing and doesn't get influenced by the politics of Chicago.

    September 11, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  25. martin

    Americans don't have that many ways to organize to improve their lot or reinforce their positions on things. Joining a political party is one way. But increasingly voters feel the people they elect aren't working for them. Joining a union is another way. But for some reason unions are reviled by many. Maybe it's because they can't be controlled as easily as the general public can be.

    September 11, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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