Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign on Thursday vowed to stop airing an ad that features Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens — the day after Greitens admitted to having an extramarital affair.
The campaign ad, showing a trio of Midwestern governors ridiculing Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, has been in heavy rotation for months. The three Republicans sarcastically thank Madigan for driving jobs to their neighboring states by raising taxes and resisting Rauner’s reforms.
“Big fans here in Missouri,” Greitens says in the ad. “Bigtime. Thank you, Mike.”
Greitens and his wife released a statement Wednesday night that revealed he was “unfaithful,” in light of a months-long investigation by St. Louis TV affiliate KMOV.
In October, Rauner began running the ad including the governors of Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri. The governors thank Madigan — Rauner’s chief nemesis — for passing a budget that included an income tax hike, which, presumably, would help those states compete with Illinois for businesses.
“It’s clear that Madigan’s obstruction has led to more jobs and economic growth elsewhere than in Illinois,” the Rauner campaign said in a fundraising email in November.
Greitens’ help to Rauner’s campaign came after the Illinois governor supported Greitens’ own election in Missouri.
Rauner and his wife contributed $100,000 to Greitens’ campaign in September. Rauner donated the same amount to Republican Eric Holcomb, who was elected Indiana governor and also appears in Rauner’s ad.
Rauner’s campaign on Thursday said the commercial has been pulled.
“We’re pulling it from online. It’s been deleted from YouTube and our digital ads with it are no longer running,” spokesman Will Allison said.
Allison said that as of Tuesday, the ad was already not running on television, to make room for a new ad that links Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker to imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Rauner campaign officials did not respond to questions about the governor’s contributions to Greitens’ campaign.