Rauner fends off attacks From Democrats and Republicans

Illinois governor Bruce Rauner returned to Illinois Thursday, after his 12-day trip to Europe. It was a jobs mission to Germany and Poland and he met with reports and says he hammering out deals to bring thousands of jobs to Illinois.

While Rauner was away, Republican state Senator Sam McCann launched a bid for governor under the new Conservative Party. Some Republicans fear McCann will take votes away from Rauner in November.

Publicly, Rauner is dismissing McCann.

“McCann is being used as a pawn by Pritzker and Madigan. We’re going to win in November,” Rauner said.

The governor says he’s not ready to talk about general election debates after he declined to face off against Jeanne Ives in the primary. So far, the governor has not committed to debating McCann or Democratic candidate JB Pritzker.

This week, State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a Democrat, attacked the Rauner administration for unpaid bills. She released a report saying that Rauner has racked up late payment interest fees totaling $100 million more than under the previous four governors combined.

Rauner called it “baloney.”

“Our Comptroller was in the General Assembly for years under Mike Madigan. She voted for the deficits for that have created the unpaid bills. She voted to support Blagojevich’s pension holiday that created huge liabilities that we’re funding now. She created the problem and now she puts out a memo that says ‘Oh, it’s the governor’s fault.’ Are you kidding me?’”

Mendoza responded on Twitter with graphics breaking down the numbers, saying: “Rauner lies. The number don’t.”