Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives has received criticism for a television ad attacking Governor Bruce Rauner. The ad, entitled "Thank You, Bruce Rauner," calls-out Rauner for supporting policies that do not align with his conservative base.
In the ad, actors portrayed a transgender woman thanking the governor for signing a law expanding trans rights, a young woman thanking Rauner for making Illinois families “pay for my abortions,” and hoodie-wearing man thanking Rauner for making Illinois “a sanctuary state for illegal immigrant criminals.”
Tim Schneider, the Illinois Republican Party Chairman and supporter of Rauner, voiced his displeasure with the ad in a statement.
"There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity. Rep. Ives' campaign ad does not reflect who we are as the Party of Lincoln and as proud residents of our great and diverse state," said Schneider.
Ives' campaign put out a statement when releasing the ad, and defended the nature of it.
The statement in part said, “The ad represents Gov. Rauner's chosen constituents based on the policy choices he made.”
Ives' campaign further defended this commercial, saying that it's a “fair and accurate representation of the implications” of Rauner’s policy choices."
The ad, which can be viewed below, is a play on the "Thank You, Mike Madigan," spot that Rauner and governors from neighboring states put out in prior months. That spot was an attack on Madigan and the Illinois democratic leadership for its part in the financial success of other bordering states.
ACLU Executive Director Colleen Connell also put out a statement about the television spot, deeming it divisive.
“It is sad that a candidate for the office of governor of Illinois would seek to divide voters by attacking our neighbors, friends and colleagues who are newcomers and refugees, those of a different race, those who are transgender and poor women in need of health care,” Connell said.
The candidates continue to trade blows leading up to the March 20 primary.