WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama taped a testimonial video touting Democratic governor nominee J.B. Pritzker, released on Monday, the first candidate-specific video Obama has made ahead of the November mid-term elections.
“I know JB. I trust JB,” Obama said in the video, describing him as “someone who’s always thinking about how he can make a difference. Someone who identifies the right problems and brings the right people together to solve them, and that’s something we can use in Illinois.”
Obama does not mention Pritzker’s opponent, GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, in the video.
The upbeat Obama video will be used on various Pritzker campaign social media platforms, according to Pritzker spokeswoman Galia Slayen.
It’s not known yet if the video will be edited into an ad.
Obama taped the video in his personal office in Washington a few weeks ago.
Obama spokesman Eric Schultz told the Sun-Times, “President Obama of course wants to be helpful to Democrats as we approach the midterm elections. President Obama wants to help Democrats win at every level this year. He’ll ask voters to take a good look at candidates and their records — not just the top of the ticket — but critical local races, too. We need a strong pipeline to help the Party grow beyond 2018. We need activists poised to engage, volunteers motivated to mobilize and voters motivated to vote.”
Obama on Aug. 1 endorsed 81 Democrats, including many from Illinois: Pritzker, Kwame Raoul, who is running for Illinois Attorney General, and U.S. House hopefuls Sean Casten, Lauren Underwood and Brendan Kelly.
Obama’s backing will help get-out-the-vote in his adopted home state — but that does not guarantee victory. In 2014, Obama and then first lady Michelle stumped for Quinn and he lost to Rauner.
Here’s the text of what Obama said about Pritzker…
“I am proud to endorse JB Pritzker to be the next governor of my home state of Illinois, and let me tell you why. It’s simple, JB gets things done. When folks said Illinois couldn’t be a leader in creating high-tech jobs, JB thought we could, and he started a tech incubator that’s helped entrepreneurs create hundreds of new companies and more than 7,000 good jobs. When JB saw that too many of our school kids were going hungry, he made it a personal mission to change that. And working with Illinois nonprofits, he helped expand a program we started to make sure more than 200,000 low-income Illinois kids have access to school breakfast.
“I know JB, I trust JB, and that’s who he is. Someone who’s always thinking about how he can make a difference. Someone who identifies the right problems and brings the right people together to solve them, and that’s something we can use in Illinois. JB will be a governor who looks out for all of us. From downstate towns to northern suburbs to the neighborhoods of Chicago, he’ll work as hard as he can to strengthen opportunity for every Illinoisan today and into the future. so, I’m asking you to join me in supporting and voting for JB Pritzker for the next governor of Illinois. Thanks.”