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How It Played: Rauner Minimum Wage Fiasco Draws Ugly Headlines

How It Played: Rauner Minimum Wage Fiasco Draws Ugly Headlines

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

(Chicago) – GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner on Wednesday completed his minimum wage cut PR fiasco by retreating and drawing flip-flopping headlines.

On Tuesday, Capitol Fax publish Rich Miller surfaced the month-old interview in which the wealthy venture capitalist advocated clearly reducing the Illinois minimum wage, $8.25, “back” to the federal level at $7.25, igniting a firestorm.

House Deputy Majority Lou Lang (D-Skokie) led off the condemnation of Rauner’s idea, blasting it as “class warfare on low income workers”.

After that, Republicans and Democrats piled on and criticized Rauner or announced their opposition to lowering the minimum wage, including GOP legislative leaders State Rep. Jim Durkin and Senator Christine Radogno.

Rauner’s campaign held to the candidate’s position throughout Tuesday, but by Wednesday the growing outrage forced Rauner to retreat. In fact, he flip-flopped. He now endorsed a minimum wage increase to $9 or $10.

It “won’t crush small business owners, and it can help struggling families,” Rauner said.


Pundits are already drawing parallels with Mitt Romney’s “47%” gaffe that the former GOP presidential candidate, despite disavowing his own remarks, was never able to shake the collateral damage.

Now Rauner’s own “47%” moment has left the political battlefield strewn with damaging headlines that would make any campaign cringe.

Here’s a sample:

Rauner makes U-turn on minimum wage: ‘I was flippant’ Chicago Tribune Almost a month ago, Bruce Rauner pledged at a Downstate candidates’ forum that if elected governor he would slash the state’s minimum wage by $1 to make it equal to the federal rate in an effort to make Illinois more economically competitive.

Rauner redo: Now he says he wants to raise, not lower, the minimum wage Chicago Sun-Times SPRINGFIELD — Veering 180 degrees in a stunning political turn, millionaire private equity investor Bruce Rauner said Wednesday he misspoke and was “flippant” when he appeared to advocate a rollback last month in Illinois’ minimum wage. In fact 

Rauner blinks on call to cut minimum wage Crain’s Chicago Business – In the case of Bruce Rauner, he showed his true colors when he said that Illinois’ minimum wage needs to be cut. Only a right-wing billionaire would think it’s right to take thousands of dollars a year from working people who live on the brink of poverty.

Rauner Flip Flops on Minimum Wage Idea NBC Chicago – Bruce Rauner found himself in the middle of a firestorm of his own … but none of the three want to give minimum wage workers a pay cut.

Rauner Flip Flops on Minimum Wage Idea Comcast SportsNet Chicago –  Bruce Rauner found himself in the middle of a firestorm of his own making Wednesday. Rauner now says “I support moving Illinois to the national minimum wage” at the same time supporting “the national minimum wage moving up.” How far up 

Bruce Rauner would like to see a cut in minimum wage Lake Zurich Courier In this Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 photo, Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner speaks to supporters at the Illinois State Fair during a Republicans Day rally, in Springfield, Ill. Hoping to avoid a repeat of their failure in the 2010 governor’s race, some of Illinois’ most 

Karen Lewis to Bruce Rauner’s minimum wage proposal: Try to live on $7.20 … Chicago Sun-Times The boisterous Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has come up with a proposal for multi-millionaire Bruce Rauner, a GOP gubernatorial candidate who is supporting a rollback in the minimum wage in Illinois. Lewis charges that Rauner is a 

Rauner addresses remark on lower minimum wage  ABC7Chicago.com  (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner proposes lowering the minimum wage in Illinois. His downstate bus tour hit a political bump this week when the Illinois Radio Network aired a month-old sound bite in 

Bruce Rauner says he will lower Illinois minimum wage from $8.25 to $7.25 an … allvoices – Bruce Rauner is a Republican candidate for governor of Illinois and he is trying to get himself noticed in the worst way. Mission accomplished as Rauner is getting noticed in the worst way, as he continues to earn his well-deserved reputation of being the “Mitt 

Republican Rauner: Cut state’s hourly minimum wage by $1 to be ‘competitive’ Chicago Sun-Times – ‎SPRINGFIELD — Republican Bruce Rauner is calling for a $1-an-hour rollback in the state’s minimum wage in a move Democrats described as “class warfare” on Illinois’ working poor. Rauner made the statement in support of moving the state’s minimum 

Bruce Rauner Proposes Lowering State Minimum Wage Chicagoist – ‎GOP gubernatorial hopeful and well-known hammerer and shaker Bruce Rauner’s latest idea for economic development in Illinois is to lower the minimum wage, because economic competition means racing fastest to the bottom. The Alton Daily News reports 

Rauner Wants To Reduce Illinois’ Minimum Wage (UPDATED) Progress Illinois – ‎Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner wants to bump down the state’s minimum hourly wage from the current $8.25 to $7.25, he recently told downstate Alton radio station WGBZ-AM. “I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to 

Action Now Coalition Issues Statement After Gubernatorial Candidates Oppose … Sacramento Bee – ‎Most shocking is that one of the gubernatorial candidates, Bruce Rauner, a billionaire venture capitalist, actually thinks that minimum wage should be lowered to the federal rate of $7.25 an hour. Rauner was quoted as stating: “I will advocate moving the 

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate wants to LOWER the minimum wage Death and Taxes – ‎The state’s minimum wage right now is $8.25–a dollar higher than the national minimum wage. But businessman Bruce Rauner, who is leading polls to be the state’s Republican candidate for Governor, thinks that’s just too high and would like to see it lowered 

Rauner Wants to Roll Back Minimum Wage Comcast SportsNet Chicago – ‎It’s long been an article of faith among pro-business Republicans in Illinois that the state’s minimum wage is too high. Now, Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner has made it explicit: he wants it cut by a buck to $7.25 an hour. Speaking to Illinois 

Brady hammers Rauner, Quinn for wanting to change state’s minimum wage Voices – ‎SPRINGFIELD-Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady took aim Wednesday at GOP rival Bruce Rival and Gov. Pat Quinn for their proposals to change Illinois’ $8.25-an-hour minimum wage, calling both “out of touch” with businesses and families.

Not good.


Twitter @DavidOrmsby

(*Note to Political Insiders: The Illinois Observer also offers our exclusive, subscriber-only e-newsletter – The Insider – to, well, Illinois political insiders. Each Tuesday and Friday at 6:00 a.m. The Insider, whose Consulting Editor is Capitol Fax Publisher Rich Miller, arrives in e-mail boxes with the choicest Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago political gossip, insider information, and news tips. For more information and a free, 4-week trial subscription to The Insider, please go here).

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About David Ormsby

David, a Huffington Post blogger and an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party, is a public relations strategist in Illinois.

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