Rauner Vague About Trump Support

Oct 13, 2016

He may be the state's highest-ranking Republican. But Governor Bruce Rauner today continued to be cagey about where he stands on Donald Trump. Rauner has been asked about Trump by reporters time and time again. He usually answers something like this:

"I'm not going to talk about politics, per se, or the Presidential election. I've made my statements clear."

But it's not really clear.  Rauner in May said he *would* back his party's nominee; at the time Trump hadn't locked up the nomination, but he was close.  The governor has never backed away from that statement.  This is as close as it got:

"I have not endorsed, I have not endorsed, not supported. I've said that, that's my position."

Rauner also said he's "outraged" by the rhetoric in the presidential election, and that he condemns sexual assault.

Some factors to consider:  Rauner has poured some $20 million into helping Republican legislators get elected. That's by no means direct support for Trump. But extra GOP voters could help Trump indirectly.  There's speculation Rauner doesn't want to offend Republicans who are fully on the Trump train, for fear they'd turn their backs on Illinois GOP candidates.

Rauner has also said he's hopeful an Illinois case over union members' fair-share fees reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. So he may be hoping a Republican White House will get to fill the open seat on the nation's high court.