Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has now betrayed the Republican base on several key issues that could cost him what appears to be an inevitable primary. While the former venture capitalist-turned-politician has a massive war chest for his reelection efforts, the 2016 demonstrated no amount of money can appease an angry Republican base.
Previously, Gov. Rauner signed a bill that limited the cooperation local and state police give to federal immigration authorities. As polls have shown, American voters overall support local and state officials cooperating with the federal government on immigration and oppose sanctuary cities. Among Republican voters, the already overwhelming margin is even more lopsided.
Then, the governor struck a deal with state Democrats increasing taxes and spending after Republicans provided him political support on budget reforms.
Now, he caved to Democrats in the state and expanded taxpayer-funded abortions. Republicans in the Illinois House are furious, as the entire delegation signed onto a statement issued on Tuesday publicly rebuking him.
“In a reversal of long-standing Illinois policy, Governor Rauner has let down Illinois taxpayers and the unborn by signing,” Republican Reps. Peter Roskam, John Shimkus, Randy Hultgren, Rodney Davis, Adam Kinzinger, Darin LaHood and Mike Bost said in a statement.
Illinois state Rep. Peter Breen, R-District 48, said the governor not only lied to voters and Republican lawmakers but also Chicago’s Cardinal Blasé Cupich.
“I mean, you lied to a priest,” Mr. Breen told a local radio station. “This guy is done.”
Gov. Rauner defeated the deeply-unpopular incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn in 2014 by a 50.3% to 46.4% margin. While he did an excellent job reaching out to inner city minorities of faith, his abortion decision angers the base and jeopardizes even those relationships.
William J. Kelly, a television producer, is already a declared candidate for the Republican nomination, but not much of a threat. However, Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-District 42, said she “wouldn’t rule out” waging a primary challenge.
State senators Sam McCann and Kyle McCarter are also on the list of potential primary candidates.