Republicans Take to Social Media to Denounce Rauner, Seek Alternatives to Run for Governor

Gov Rauner announces on Sept 28, 2017, he'll sign HB-40

When it came to politics, Harry Truman used to say, “If you want a friend, get a dog.”  Others in Washington since then have said, Washington is the place where you don’t take friendships personally!

Bruce Rauner now knows the same is obviously true in Illinois as well.

It is amazing to behold…the Illinois Republican Party’s immediate turning away from their own Republican governor, in the wake of his deciding to sign HB-40, a bill that will allow for the public funding of abortions in Illinois.

All across social media on Thursday and Friday, strong supporters of the Governor, are denouncing him.  Many are saying they can trust him, won’t support him any longer.  Republican House members call him a liar.

Rep Peter Breen (R)

Rep Peter Breen (R) posted in Facebook, “On Thursday, Bruce Rauner forced you to pay for 20,000-30,000 aborted lives with your tax dollars. He then turned around and said this: “No person should be forced to give up a portion of their pay each month to fund public sector union activity against their will.” So in Raunerland, it’s okay to force you to pay for abortions of perfectly healthy babies, but he draws a bright line at paying for union activity.


In a Facebook LIVE video he published Friday monring, Senator Kyle McCarter (R), compared the Governor to a persimmon that you step on, and the mess it makes.

Sen Kyle McCarter (R)

Sen McCarter also put out a press release that closes with this, “The Governor’s decision is completely opposite of the platform adopted by Illinois Republican Party that elected him. He has disgraced the party and the citizens of Illinois. In my opinion, he should not run for re-election.”

But few individuals have been more supportive of Gov Rauner over the years, than John Tillman, President of the conservative think-tank, Illinois Policy Institute.

In fact, Gov Rauner this summer raided the staff of the IPI when he restructured his senior management, selecting Christine Rasmussen, an IPI Vice President, to become his new Chief of Staff.

IL Policy Institute’s CEO, John Tillman

So when the Gov loses the support of the Illinois Policy Institute’s CEO, John Tillman, who took to Facebook to call the Governor “Benedict Rauner”…then one wonders…who’s left to support Governor Rauner for re-election?

Here’s the post: John Michael Tillman “Benedict Rauner going back on his word and signing HB40. Whether you are pro life or pro choice, a politician loses when he gives his word to many people and goes back on it, including to Cardinal Cupich. Further, if you care only about economic issues, he has put that entire agenda at risk by betraying those to whom he gave his word.”

Already Republican voters are taking to social media to suggest the names of others they would like to see run for the Republican nomination for Governor, so rid the party of Rauner at the top of the ticket.

There was no question the Governor faced a tough choice in what to do over HB-40, but for him to be having so many strong supporters now turning away from him, and denouncing him in public, is likely more than the Governor calculated would happen.

So will he run again?  In his three years in office, his lack of accomplishments to run on for re-election is unprecedented in modern Illinois history.  The only state budget to pass in his three years, came as Republican lawmakers joined with Democrats to override the Governor’s veto of the budget.

For a Republican Governor who painted himself as a conservative who was going to turn around Illinois from the failed policies of the past, this administration has been unable to get virtually any of its policies passed in the legislature.

And ironically, what has been passed, looks more like a policy prescription that would interest Democratic voters;  reductions in the prison population, signing a bill that inflamed the conservative base at the core of the administration, that many said makes Illinois a “sanctuary state.”   And now, signing a bill that provides for taxpayer funding of abortions.

But the Governor is not going to be getting any support in his reelection from Democrats.  And now the Republican base he needs to hold, is crumbling at amazing speed.

And if the Governor takes his millions, and decides he’s had enough of politics… can the GOP compete on legislative races?

OR given his heavy-handed approach, what many in the Republican Party say is Rauner’s “My Way or the Highway” style that’s lead many GOPers to turn their back on the Governor… can the Republicans stay a cohesive party in 2018 with Rauner at the top of the ticket?

The names of possible candidates to run against Rauner for the nomination for Governor, that were being proposed in social media include, Sen McCarter, Rep Jeanne Ives, former Sen Kirk Dillard, and a handful of others.

But 2014, Rauner was the first Republican governor elected in Illinois – one of the bluest of blue states, since George Ryan’s win in 1998.  And Rauner had an endless supply of money, ran against what many felt was a weak candidate in Gov Pat Quinn (D), and at a time when Illinois seemed to be adrift.

The Republican conservative base clearly feels betrayed.  But the effort to replace Rauner at the nominee will be difficult, given the Governor’s massive funds.  And even if Rauner were to lose the nomination, or decide not to run again, the opportunity to elect a hard-core conservative that would appeal to the rank-and-file Republican voter, would likely have little chance in a general election, given the overwhelming vote that comes out of Cook County.

So the reality is, there’s very few real options for those Republicans voters who now feel so betrayed.