Incumbent Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, has triggered mass outrage among the left by trolling his challenger, Democrat challenger, J.B. Pritzker, with an ad that some describe as “savage.”
Posted to the governor’s YouTube page Monday, the ad features Pritzker being married to longtime state House Speaker Michael Madigan, who too happens to be a Democrat.
“Repeat after me: I, Mike Madigan, take you, JB Pritzker, as my unlawful partner in destruction to raise property taxes, corrupt government, and bankrupt Illinois’s future,” the fictional wedding officiator says as the ad begins, referencing Madigan’s habit of using tax hikes to pay for his irresponsible spending.
“Done. Deal,” the fictional Madigan replies, at which point the officiator continues: “And I, JB Pritzker, take you, Mike Madigan, to honor and obey till death do us part.”
“Always have, always will,” the fictional Pritzker says.
“By the power vested in me, I now pronounce Illinois f–ked,” the officiator concludes, after which the ad ends with a narrator announcing that the marriage is “an unholy union Illinois can’t afford.”
The evidence suggests Rauner’s ad may be correct. Illinois has for years faced a never-ending budget crisis that’s reportedly “ruined the state’s credit, clobbered students and social service recipients, kneecapped job growth and drove swarms of people to head for the border.”
The response from Democrats has invariably been to spike taxes. Just last year Illinois’ Democrat-led legislature overrode a veto by Rauner and passed a budget that spiked taxes again. Yet according to Orphe Divounguy of the Illinois Policy Institute, the hike did nothing to resolve the state’s crisis.
“[W]hat we saw after the tax increase is that jobs growth slowed 34 percent relative to expectations and 30 percent relative to the rest of the nation,” he said to the Illinois News Network over the summer, adding that because Democrats refuse to cut spending, the crisis has grown worse.
“Those people who are not leaving the state are going to have to pay are going to pay higher and higher tax bills to take care of their state government obligations,” he added.
It’s this fiscal irresponsibility that Rauner had been targeting in his ad. But instead of acknowledging his point, the left has pounced on the Illinois governor for allegedly exploiting the gay community.
“We are deeply disappointed by Gov. Rauner’s new campaign ad that mocks marriage equality by tying two of his opponents together in a parody wedding,” Brian C. Johnson, the CEO of Equality Illinois” said in a statement. “The governor should be ashamed of using the LGBTQ community for comedic value to make a political hit.”
.@GovRauner released an ad that mocks marriage equality by tying 2 of his opponents together in a parody wedding. We recognize a dog whistle when we hear one. He should be ashamed of using the #LGBTQ community for comedic value to make a political hit. https://t.co/iHZwTWUEw2 pic.twitter.com/gI8NGEwIE5
— Equality Illinois (@EqualityILL) October 23, 2018
Pritzker reportedly responded in kind, saying, “This commercial that he put out, which I think is offensive to many people, is just an extension of the kind of terrible campaign that he has run and an extension of the fact that he likes to bad mouth the state and is on the attack.”
The reaction from Democrats on social media seemed to be similarly petulant:
Classless garbage, that is @BruceRauner
— Truth Jordan (@SixTimesX) October 23, 2018
— Rep. David McSweeney (@1980reagan) October 24, 2018
It’s horrible disposable ad especially for an incumbent.
— Owen Warland (@OwenWarland) October 27, 2018
Rauner’s latest TV ad suggests he knows he’s f***** https://t.co/kdgeGw89xF via @suntimes @BruceRauner @ILFirstLady @cnn
This is disgusting. Don’t care who you are. @GOP Bible Thumpers you are lower than the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
— Kimberly Gibson (@gibsongirlmo) October 27, 2018
It’s unclear why they feel so angry over the governor’s ad yet seemingly different about the damage Democrats have done to their state.
What’s clear though is that they seem to represent a minority, as the bulk of responses on social media appeared to be supportive of the ad, which some found to be both truthful and hilarious.
I left IL because of Madigan and the Democrats. I don’t think Rauner will win, but this ad is really good.
It’s so true, that’s why Democrats are up in arms! https://t.co/HJmeYPPM6w
— David Izzo (@dizzo58) October 26, 2018
MSM never gets how CORRUPT Illinois pols are. Gov Rauner’s ad may be edgy but Machine Madigan running f/gov funded by filthy rich Pritzer is downright sick. GOP governor’s unusual ad depicts wedding between Illinois Dems, pronounces state ‘f—–’https://t.co/V3BBGgKvy4
— davd soul (@davdsoul) October 26, 2018
— Victoria Lord (@vb_lord) October 26, 2018
— Randy Egge (@coachegge) October 25, 2018
1000000000% correct. JB, Madigan puppet, doubling everyone’s taxes, including people voting for him. Alleged racist
— E. Draven (@IamTheCrow12) October 24, 2018
Agreed. Madigan is Dem Speaker of House and has run state into near bankruptcy with his union pals.
— Maria V (@mvanduch420) October 26, 2018
Lol damn. Rauner’s ads this cycle are absolutely savage.
— Austin Sekel (@AustinSekel) October 24, 2018
Rauner has reportedly defended himself by noting that he’s officiated gay weddings and pointing out that his ad was about “corruption and self-dealing and a broken political machine that Madigan runs and that Pritzker funds.”
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