Rauner Bites Back At Edgar, Thompson Critiques

Oct 22, 2015

Former Gov. Jim Edgar says it's time for Gov. Bruce Rauner to leave the "Turnaround Agenda" behind in order to get a budget passed.
Credit Hannah Meisel/WUIS

 On the state's 113th day without a budget, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner Thursday sloughed off critical comments made by his a pair of his predecessors.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar's still a popular figure within the Illinois GOP, which is why the harsh nature of his recent remarks garnered a lot of attention. Edgar scolded Rauner for putting his pro-business agenda ahead of the budget.

Then another Republican Governor from the past - James Thompson -- also said that Illinois' is in the worst position it's ever been.

"I don't spend any time criticizing my fellow Republicans," Rauner said in response. "I don't spend any time criticizing decisions made in the past that created the mess that we're dealing with." Rauner says he's focused on the future.

Democrats say Rauner's vision of the future will kill unions and hurt the middle class; the governor says his plans will grow the economy long-term.

As they fight it out, government and social service agencies are caught in the crossfire. Rauner defended the struggle, saying "We're going through some change. Change is difficult. Change causes pain. We believe very strongly that we're going to go through short-term pain for some very big long-term gain."