Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday said Gov. Bruce Rauner’s public scolding of him — and other politicians — gets in the way of solving already challenging issues.
“The governor can be his own worst enemy and can’t seem to get out of his own way, as yesterday showed as it relates to the pension,” Emanuel told reporters at a breakfast event downtown.
Emanuel was referring to a news conference Rauner held Thursday in which he announced he was throwing his support — “in the spirit of compromise,” he said — behind a pension reform bill that Illinois Senate President John Cullerton had earlier proposed. Rauner told reporters that he’d spoken with Cullerton and that they were, essentially, in agreement on the plan. Just a few hours later, Cullerton said Rauner had it wrong and that Rauner’s idea was not his plan.
During Rauner’s event, he repeatedly criticized Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan for failing to support any of his proposals, calling him “unreasonable, irresponsible as a leader of the Legislature.”
And the governor this week saved some of his harshest criticism for Emanuel, saying the mayor had failed on everything from reform to jobs to schools.
On Friday, Emanuel chuckled at Rauner’s suggestion that he’s been a failure.
“I wish he had as much energy . . . in challenging the problems that face the state as he does challenging people in calling them names,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel praised the governor for trying to “move something forward” on pension reform but said he needs to do a better job of building relationships if he wants to have success on “serious issues.”
“You can call me names all you want and you attack me, but attack the problems of Illinois, which would be a better idea,” Emanuel said.