Rauner: Pritzker ‘lacking in the integrity and character’ to be Illinois governor

CHICAGO -- Gov. Bruce Rauner, a union-weakening crusader, traveled to the Chicago Hilton Hotel on Thursday where workers on the strike. With less than two months until election day, the governor made no mention of the labor dispute, instead, he focused on his challenger this November, Democrat J.B. Pritzker.

“His behavior shows him to be a person utterly lacking in the integrity and character we need in public office,” Rauner said.

Rauner raised questions about Pritzker’s finances.

“A man who inherits billions of dollars, but hides it in offshore bank accounts in the Bahamas to avoid paying taxes, won’t work to give YOU the tax relief YOU deserve,” he said.

He lashed out at the billionaire businessman for his ties to disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"A man caught on FBI wiretap trying to buy political office from a criminally corrupt politician is not worthy of the highest office in our state,” he said.

Rauner is warning voters that if elected, Pritzker will raise taxes and allow a culture of corruption. But Rauner was introspective.

“I’m a better governor now than when I took office because of what I’ve learned,” Rauner said.

Rauner addressed the 736-day budget stalemate that that dogged his term. He admitted Illinois residents suffered, but said it was worth it.

“I know the budget impasse was painful. But the budget impasse was a fight for reform. Speaker Madigan and his political machine are weaker now than at any time in recent memory,” Rauner said.

The Pritzker campaign responded by directing WGN to two of its new TV commercials. Pritzker released a statement saying:

“This failed governor exhibits the height of cowardice when he spreads lies and says ‘I’m not in charge.’ And while Bruce Rauner finally admitted his failures today, it’s too little too late after he’s forced four years of destruction and devastation on Illinois’ working families.”

Rauner accused Pritzker of dodging the press. The governor did not take questions from reporters before or after Thursday’s speech.