Ryan sides with Emanuel on Chicago strike
September 10th, 2012
06:58 PM ET
9 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. HenryMiller

    If Emanuel had any guts, he'd apply the Reagan Solution. It's not like it's hard to find replacement teachers.

    September 11, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Tarmac

    Ah yes. Lyin' Paul Ryan and his sub-three-hour marathon time stories. Since he confuses numbers so easily and so carefree, I'm sure in his head there 60,000 teachers on strike after two weeks of negotiating. I'm not saying the other camp is better, but this guy is constantly reaching for any thread to pull.

    September 11, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Lisa

    It is low and dirty, knowing they (teachers) could have done this during off-time yet decided to do this on the first days of school. The only ones significantly jeopordized are the kids. As a taxpaying citizen, I wouldn't be against paying teachers more if they accepted getting annual reviews and getting fired (without having to jump through union hoops) like the rest of the word's occupations. Teachers ALSO have to accept responsibility for failing students not being at par; I speak from my experience as a cps student.

    September 11, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    In less than 90 days Ruin will revery back to little Eddie Munster after he and Willard lose the election.

    September 11, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. John

    It's no shock to see anti-union politicians agreeing. What a non-story.

    September 11, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Keith

    As usual the teachers refuse ANY accountability!

    September 11, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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