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Rauner on vetting of new hires: ‘We’re not perfect’

State Senate Republic Leader Bill Brady, left, listens as Gov. Bruce Rauner discusses school funding in the state during a news conference on Monday, July 24, 2017 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Asked about a communications staff hire who compared abortions to Nazi eugenics, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday said he doesn’t agree with all views of his staff, but contended that his administration’s vetting process isn’t “perfect.”

“I wish we were perfect. We’re not perfect,” Rauner said at the Thompson Center.

One of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s new communications aides, Brittany Carl, has argued in a blog post that abortion is being used “to rid the world of disabled and other ‘unwanted’ persons” — comparing it to Nazi Germany.

Rauner was asked to explain the hire. “Is that someone you want on your staff?” a reporter asked.

“I am committed to having the best staff we could possibly have. I do not agree with every position that anybody who has ever worked for me has ever taken. And I have my own views. I stand by my views. And to be crystal clear, I am a strong advocate for women’s reproductive rights,” the governor said.

Rauner did not answer a follow-up question about whether Carl would remain on staff. But he was asked about the vetting of his new administration, contending the process wasn’t “perfect.” Last week, the governor fired his new “body man” — a handpicked assistant — on his first day after racist and homophobic tweets were found on his account.

“There’s been a lot of writing and talk about staffing. It’s the tempest and the teapot. There’s nothing changing. My positions have been clear. I am a strong advocate for the people of Illinois. I want to change our government so it actually works for people and put our children and our families first. Political insiders, the privileged inside government, the folks who make their money from political power, we need to battle against them.”

Rauner contended “sometimes you need fresh troops to engage in the battle.”

Carl was not among several communications staffers at the press conference on Monday, which was the governor’s first Chicago media availability since his staff shakeup. Since July 10, there have been at least 20 administration exits — both firings and resignations in protest. The transition hasn’t been easy. After being asked to come back into the Thompson Center’s Blue Room to make an introduction to reporters, the staffers learned they were locked in.

“I have a key!” a staffer said quickly before they made their exit.