Illinois GOP candidate for governor says state shutdown an option
August 4th, 2014
05:34 PM ET
1 month ago

Illinois GOP candidate for governor says state shutdown an option

(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.

"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.

Key races to watch in 2014


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Illinois • Ronald Reagan
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. The REAL Truth...

    Great.. let's just shut down the state Govt.. instead of finding solutions. Seems to be the Republican approach these days.

    August 4, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    The firing of those air traffic controllers by the sleepy demi god from Hollywood was a HUGE mistake. That they named National after him is ironic to no end. Anything named after this guy should be renamed.
    They can all talk about it at their pimp convention since Ohio was really picked to buy votes anyway.
    The federal government shutdown led by rafaelito and his crazies cost $24M of our taxpayer money.
    Proceed teaklans,

    August 4, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. rs

    Sure- that's the new GOP meme- can't make government work with insane tax cuts for the rich? Why, just shut down government.
    Breaking government isn't leadership-it's treason.

    August 4, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. Chris..E.Al

    @ And you cant make goverment work long by giving freebies away to illegals and the not so aca to those that just decide they no longer want to work any longer . And God forbid if we have another disaster like the ones above .

    August 4, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: If you don't like Congress, get rid of the repub/tea bag majority

    All these GOpers remind me of a three-year-old who threatens to break the toy when you tell him/her to give it back.

    As every good parent knows, the only way to stop this behavior is to not indulge it. Take the toy away (vote them out on November 4, 2014) and put them in time-out (don't elect any more GOP/tea bags until they've shown they can responsibly handle elected office).

    August 4, 2014 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: If you don't like Congress, get rid of the repub/tea bag majority

    @The REAL Truth...: "Great.. let's just shut down the state Govt.. instead of finding solutions. Seems to be the Republican approach these days."

    Like I've been saying for years, the GOP/tea bags have NOTHING to offer our country.

    Vote accordingly on November 4, 2014.

    August 4, 2014 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  7. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    He's fine. He can say it wasn't him, the GOP and MSM will pretend it was photoshopped and he'll be fine. 😚😚

    Like Eddie said.....Deny, deny, deny. (That's Eddie Murphy or was it Rich? I think it was Eddie. 😄😄

    Or he could just say the old stand by excuse, he didn't mean it like that....😉😉😉

    August 4, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  8. Hector Slagg

    Whazzat?,
    Another Basket case going down the tubes? Maybe the people of Illinois learned something from Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, Eh? But, who cares about an 18 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt. Eh? Spend, Spend, Spend! So how's your Penstion plan doing?

    August 4, 2014 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. Barbara

    As an Illinois resident, there are no good candidates for governor in the upcoming election. Our really only choice is between bad and worse, but at this point I do not know which is which!

    August 4, 2014 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain: If you don't like Congress, get rid of the repub/tea bag majority

    @Marie MD: "The federal government shutdown led by rafaelito and his crazies cost $24M of our taxpayer money.
    Proceed teaklans,"

    Minor typo, Ms Marie: It cost us $24 BILLION.

    Brought to you by the same party that voted to cut $300 million from U.S. embassy security funding because, in the words of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), "When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices how to prioritize this."

    Same party that gives us the waster-extraordinare, Issa, who continues to burn through taxpayer dollars.

    The solution? Vote out the GOP/tea bags on November 4, 2014.

    August 4, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    The Chicago Mob will make sure the Republican doesn't win.......even if they have to make him disappear.

    August 4, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. S. B. Stein

    Shutting down the government isn't a good idea. It keeps some businesses from working. Firing people outright because they don't have a current labor contract isn't a good idea.

    August 4, 2014 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    No republican should ever be put in a position of leadership.

    August 4, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Prof Fricke

    Illinois has perhaps the most dysfunctional state government. The people of the state, especially those south of the greater Chicago area, are the best of America. Too bad Chicago determines so much for the rest of the state. Shame to see a great state of farmers be so manhandled by urban politicians.

    August 4, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  15. joecalbear

    I thought all Governors in Illinois go to prison after one term. Are you sure Quinn is running for re-election?

    August 4, 2014 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Let's shut it all down , stop the trains and close the hospitals .

    We need to do a Ted Cruz , and shut it all down and read some children's books to grownups.

    We can't afford infrastructure , we need to do nothing and then blame the black dude

    August 4, 2014 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. J Anthony

    The government is not a corporation, and should not be run like one. But now it is, thanks to ignorant voters

    August 4, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  18. Name

    I just love the millionaire republicans candidates who have never stepped foot in a public school, but are the educatiob gurus...pathetic

    August 4, 2014 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. dagot

    Is this the best they have against Rauner? Gov. Quinn is sagging in the polls and the liberal media just can't bear it. If you live in Illinois, you might actually think a shut-down of state government is far kinder to its citizens than the corrupt, scheming, endlessly spending one party rule in Springfield. Voting for Quinn is like the man who keeps pounding his head with a hammer. It feels so darned good when he stops.

    August 4, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  20. Taxedtodeath

    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!

    August 4, 2014 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. crystal

    They have the stupidest taxes. You mean to tell me that taxing athletic shoes is not the way to prosperity?

    August 4, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  22. MaryM

    Yea, look at republican run Kansas. Just got their credit rating downgraded. Funny how republican policies destroy economies

    August 4, 2014 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. Bubba

    If America is ever going to recover, it is going to have consider shutting the GOP down.

    August 4, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  24. Bill from GA

    The REAL Truth..., Marie MD, rs

    I had some stuff to say, but you all NAILED IT!!

    August 5, 2014 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  25. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid the repub/tea bag majority.

    These GOP/tea bags don't believe in representative democracy; they are authoritarian and dictatorial, threatening harm whenever they don't get their way.

    Only a FOOL will vote repub/tea bag on November 4, 2014 – only a FOOL.

    August 5, 2014 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
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