CHICAGO – With just under a month left until elections, Democrat J.B. Pritzker and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner met face-to-face Tuesday and tackled everything from illegal immigration to Mike Madigan during at a debate in front of the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board.
Rauner blamed illegal immigration for unemployment and crime in Chicago and accused of Pritzker of wanting Illinois to have sanctuary cities.
“...massive numbers of illegal immigrants take jobs away from American and Chicago citizens,” Rauner said. “Union workers are hurt by illegal unemployment and [Pritzker] said there is no such thing as an illegal person, and he wants more sanctuary cities in Illinois. I am against sanctuary and against illegal immigration.”
“People are not illegal. There are undocumented immigrants, but people are not illegal,” Pritzker said.
“People are here illegally and they are and they shouldn’t be,” Rauner said.
During the debate, Pritzker also made it clear he didn’t agree with how state House Speaker Mike Madigan addressed sexual harassment allegations in his office.
From there, they moved on to how they would in the future handle working with Madigan. Rauner accused Pritzker of becoming a “Madigan puppet” and Pritzker accused Rauner of getting nothing done.
“That failure to have a budget for years is an act where every elected official let the people down and I was a part of that, but we have to change and Speaker Madigan had a super majority and he had an ability to pass any budget with or without my support,” Rauner said.
“I believe that Speaker Madigan has made mistakes over the years and that we need to change the way business is done in Springfield. You want someone independent but you also want someone who is willing to work with the leadership to get things done,” Pritzker said.
The two also haven’t let go of the several yearlong budget impasse and tax hikes.
“And he made a statement that what he wanted was for the income tax to go up,” Rauner said.
“But governor you went without introducing…,” Pritzker said.
“If you’re going to interrupt me, talk about your 26 percent income tax. Let’s get back to the question,” Rauner said.
A panel member at one point called the candidates not men, but boys as they went back and forth on accusations made against both of them.
They both continued to defend themselves against respective scandals, calling them "political.” The candidates will face off in their final television debate in Quincy later this week.