CHICAGO — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner met with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board for an endorsement session Friday. His Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker was a no-show.
Rauner, who's used his time in office to champion structural reform, told the Tribune that he'll settle for incremental change in a second term.
"I very clearly have learned some lessons about how to get things done in government," Rauner said.
For the second straight day, Rauner promised to take a new approach moving forward — saying he’ll reach out to Democrats. But the governor did not say he would end his attacks on House Speaker Michael Madigan.
"I’ve called out unethical behavior and conflicts of interest," Rauner said. "I will always do that."
The editorial board pressed Rauner on abortion. The governor famously signed an expansion of taxpayer-subsidized abortions. He also fielded questions on Janus v. AFSCME, this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that undercut public employee unions.
"Some people spin me as anti-union," Rauner said. "I am not anti-union. I am passionately anti-conflict of interest."
Rauner took time to jab Pritzker for proposing a graduated income tax.
"His only real, concrete proposal on policy is to raise the income tax," Rauner said. "Turn out the lights. Disaster."
Pritzker skipped the editorial board session to discuss funding mental health services. At the City Club of Chicago, Pritzker said, "Watching what Bruce Rauner did to addiction and mental health services during his budget crisis shook me to my core."