(CNN) – Critics are pouncing on remarks Bruce Rauner, the Republican nominee for governor in Illinois, made to supporters earlier this year that a government shutdown was an option to help the state deal with its financial troubles.
Video of his comments picked up steam on Monday as the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which recently threw its support behind Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, circulated the clip, posted to the union's YouTube page, of Rauner addressing the Tazewell County Republican Party at its Lincoln Day dinner in March.
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"I apologize but we may have to go through a little rough times and we have to do what Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers," Rauner said referencing Reagan's decision in 1981 to fire 11,000 striking air traffic controllers.
"We sort of have to do a do-over and shut things down for a little while, that's what we're going to do," Rauner said.
Rauner, a millionaire businessman and first-time candidate from the wealthy suburb of Winnetka on Chicago's North Shore, beat out three state lawmakers in the March GOP primary, and will go on to face Quinn in November’s general election.
In response to the outcry, Rauner's campaign said their candidate "has put forth a detailed plan for reviving Illinois, and shutting down state government is not among those plans."
"But if the choice is between that and four more years of failed leadership, higher taxes, and high unemployment from Quinn and Madigan, a whole lot of Illinoisans might think less government is a pretty good idea," spokesman Mike Schrimpf told CNN.
A longer version of Rauner's speech at the March dinner was posted by his campaign to its YouTube page shortly after the event.
Surrounding his remarks invoking Reagan’s mass firing of air traffic workers, Rauner advocates for significantly less spending and education reform in the state.
"It's going to be rough. It's going to be hardball but I'm used to that. I've transformed a lot of business organizations in my life and I can bring that same discipline in Springfield," he said.
Republicans see takeover potential as Quinn is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors up for reelection.
Rauner's comments gaining traction Monday follow last fall's federal government shutdown And closer to home, it comes as Illinois struggles with how to fix the state's ailing retirement system - considered the most troubled in the country.
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If this guy wins, the voters of Illinois deserve him.
Another GOP shutdown???? The last GOP shutdown cost 24 BILLION dollars by the GOP DUFUS Cruz . So let's do it again!!! Why don't you just fund their pensions instead of trying to screw your own city workers GOP MORONS
Yea, only fund the stuff we want and SCREW EVERYBODY ELSE, the GOP AGENDA, these GOP CLOWNS GOTTA GO in November!!!!!!
Why not? Guns Over People teatards squealed with glee when Raphael Cruz took money with both hands to shut down the people's government.
They just don't learn, absolutely amazed at the thought of people who are working everyday to support this party, I voted Republican once, never, ever again. If you listen to them, they have said what their plans are, George w policies on steroids, no thank you, took years for my 401k to recover, don't have the time nor inclination to give it to the rich again, next time I'm prepared.
Isn't there something criminal in intentionally shutting down the government?
This guy is to DUMB to be elected to ANY public office!!!!!
'Shut em down, shut em shut em down'! Who knew a Public Enemy rap tune would become the rallying cry for the GOTP!? If shutting down the government sounds like a good idea to you, then you're in the wrong line of work! I think that might be true of Rauner, who compares running an elected office to running a business! Apples & Oranges, Rauner!!
Well, if that's Rauner's plan, than that settles it, he's got my vote. The whining noise you're hearing is from the parasitic bloodsuckers who benefit from a system where real estate taxes are three times higher than they should be, the sales tax is twice what it should be, and the income tax at 5% is about where it should be – let alone too high taxes on gasoline, etc., etc.. I pay three percent per year on a fifty year old home in the Chicago suburbs – over five grand for a home I'd be lucky to sell for 160 thousand. That isn't taxation, that's confiscation. Illinois needs to cut its seven thousand taxing districts to under four thousand, including getting rid of the patronage party that is the township system. Alas, Rauner alone can't do anything, Illinois is doomed unless you get rid of Madigan, Cullerton, and the rest of the self-enriching rats in the state legislature and senate. Shut down the state? What, are they going to stop repairing the roads? From what I've been seeing, state route repair stopped six months ago. Bring it on, any number of high school juniors could design a more efficient, more representative form of state government than what we have currently. PLEASE shut this monstrosity down, Bruce!
This poor baby just discovered life costs money. Railing away at those who get government assistance (as if they get nothing-roads, police, fire protection, clean air, etc.)- and instead they want their lives to be tax free. A useless, selfish excuse for humanity is this one.