UPDATED 11/23/10 – 5:18 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Gov. Pat Quinn made good on a promise Tuesday to take his former opponent – Republican Illinois State Sen. Bill Brady – out to lunch.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports that Brady and Quinn followed the example of U.S. Senate candidates Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias – who sat down for a beer at the Billy Goat Tavern the day after the election – though the former rivals for governor had more on their plates.
The so-called “Sandwich Summit” was held Tuesday afternoon at Manny’s Deli, with a heaping helping of corned beef with a side of reconciliation.
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Quinn arrived first and greeted Brady when he walked in. Both stood in line and ordered corned beef sandwiches and potato pancakes. It was their first public appearance together since Quinn narrowly won the race for governor earlier this month.
Quinn and Brady took a table for two, with about a dozen microphones as a centerpiece. With cameras hovering, they had the lunch Quinn promised after beating Brady by less than 20,000 votes.
While Quinn boasted that he paid Tuesday’s tab, there are about $6 billion worth of other unpaid bills to worry about now; a less appetizing topic.
“It was a nice conversation,” Brady said afterward, adding that he and Quinn agree on some priorities, but he still opposes Quinn’s plan to raise the income tax to help eliminate a $15 billion budget deficit.
“I don’t believe the appetite in the legislature is there for a tax increase,” said Brady. “If it’s not, I think he realizes spending has to be reduced.”
But Quinn claimed he’s already cut spending more than any other governor in Illinois history and said, “We’re not going to cut education, we’re not going to cut veterans programs, we’re not going to cut police. You know, there are things you can’t cut.”
Both expressed support for improving the state’s roads and bridges.
“We focused predominantly on what we’re going to do to reduce unemployment and get jobs for Illinois families,” Brady said.
“A report the other day is Illinois continues to lead the Midwest in creating jobs this year – 53,700 – and we want to keep that going,” Quinn said.
Also on the menu Tuesday was the importance of high-speed rail – which they agree on – along with Medicaid reform and pension and worker compensation reforms.
Quinn said he hopes the two have lunch again, but he said if it’s in Brady’s hometown of Bloomington, Brady’s buying.