Conservative Insurgent Inches Closer to Toppling Illinois GOP Governor

Jeanne Ives
News Ives for Illinois/YouTube

According to a recent poll, Republican gubernatorial candidate for Illinois Jeanne Ives is moving closer to incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) ahead of next Tuesday’s primary to determine the GOP’s nominee for the Prairie State’s governor. While previously trailing Rauner by double digits, Ives now trails by seven points: 42 to 35 percent.

Ives shared her views on the race during a Thursday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with co-hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

Ives warned against Republican renomination of Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) in Illinois’s GOP gubernatorial primary scheduled for March 20. Democrats will secure Illinois’s governorship if Rauner is the Republicans’ gubernatorial candidate in November, she predicted.

“Rauner, we know, can’t be elected in 2018,” said Ives:

We know that already. Anybody who elects him, or votes for him on March 20th really is sealing the fate of the state of Illinois, because if you put a Democrat in there in 2018, it’s lights out in the state of Illinois. … The guy has spent four, five, six million dollars lying about me and he’s getting away with it. … That’s why he’s going to lose in November — because nobody trusts him. Democrats, Republicans, and independents don’t trust Bruce Rauner. That’s why if he were to win on March 20th, he loses in November.

Ives noted the tightening of polls between herself and Rauner:

At the start of January, we were probably down 45 points on Governor Rauner because he has a $100 million worth of name ID over the last three years of being an incumbent. The guy is super wealthy [and has] been able to get his message out all the time, even when he first got elected in 2014 and then continuing on. … Good news is, we’re now within seven points. … We think we’re within five points, so that puts us almost within the margin of error.

Ives described Rauner as a “fake” Republican who had deceived Illinois’s conservatives: “We decided to mount this challenge because, when fake Republicans betray us, if they’re not challenged, then they’re getting away with something and we couldn’t let that happen. Not in this state, not in this time; 2018 has to be a change election in the state of Illinois.”

Pollak drew parallels between Rauner’s governorship in Illinois and that of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in California.

“[Bruce Rauner] has been a disappointment to voters who thought he would bring reform to Illinois, and we have seen this pattern before,” stated Pollak. “Here in California, Arnold Schwarzenegger came in in very similar fashion to Rauner, an outsider with a lot of money to spend, took over state government, and could not work with a Democratic legislature to get anything done. Rauner has basically been the same and worse because he has folded on core Republican priorities, like abortion, like immigration.”

“[Bruce Rauner] didn’t even do the things that he could do as governor correctly, which is run the agencies well, and take on public corruption,” said Ives. “You don’t need the Democrats approval ahead of time to do either one of those, so the guy has been a complete failure.”

Pollak noted the Democratic Governors Association’s recently published ad critiquing Ives as the “most conservative” candidate in Illinois’s gubernatorial race.

“They certainly come at you pretty hard in this ad,” commented Pollak. “They see that you’re a threat and you could be the candidate in the general election.”

Mansour mocked the Democrats’ strategy of critiquing Ives as “too conservative” prior to the GOP gubernatorial primary.

“I’m fascinated about the way that the Democrats are playing these ads because I’ve seen before where they sometimes think that … they might even be trying to fool the Republican base into supporting the candidate that they’re attacking by showing how conservative you are and thinking that you’re going to be the weaker candidate,” said Mansour. “Are they that stupid, is what I want to know. If they are that stupid that they think you’ll be weaker in a general election, it just makes this even more delightful, don’t you think? Because you’re going to run circles around this guy. That’s why I’m like, please get her in the general election because it’s going to be epic. That’s why I think this is so wonderful. They might be completely underestimating you.”

Pollak also noted Rauner’s poor performance against Democratic rivals in recent polls.

Nearly 90 percent of Illinoisans view their state’s management as on the wrong track, shared Ives, pointing to a recent poll in which 84 percent of poll respondents described the state of Illinois as “off track and heading in the wrong direction.”

Pollak described Illinois’s state management as in dire straits: “The state’s economy is basically migrating out of Illinois. It’s moving to Wisconsin and Indiana. … Illinois just has not so many problems, and Bruce Rauner has really struggled, and worse than that, he has abandoned his voters.”

A recently published study ranked Illinois at the top of all states — including Washington, DC — “in terms of the severity of its overall tax burden.”

“This is a classic case where you have an insurgent campaign,” said Pollak. “Most insurgent campaigns fall short, but occasionally they topple the champion, and that’s what happened with Dave Brat taking on Eric Cantor in Virginia. … You are really a star candidate, West Point graduate, Army veteran, served the country overseas and served three terms in state legislature. You have the resume, the skills, the poise, and the temperament.”

Mansour described Ives as possessing “courage and integrity.” “That is the only way that Chicago, and Illinois, is going to get out of this mess, is with somebody with courage and integrity to do what has to be done,” said Mansour.

“We’re talking about the Ives of March,” quipped Ives, inviting Illinoisans to support her bid for Illinois’s governorship.

Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).

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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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