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Rauner Courts Republican Party Leaders, Voters At State Fair

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Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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(CBS) – Thursday was Republicans day at the Illinois State Fair, and the party’s candidate for governor, Bruce Rauner, made the most of it

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

The image Bruce Rauner was pushing: motorcycle-riding man of the people, dressed in baggy jeans a plain white shirt and cowboy boots.

In truth, he’s one of the richest men in the state and at the top of the ticket for a party to which he is very much an outsider.

“We need people who are outsiders, that’s the problem. This has been controlled by insiders,” says Jim Oberweis, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate.

Thursday morning, Rauner was still trying to win the hearts and minds of party leaders.

“I’m going to campaign up and down the ticket for every office-holder. I’m going to fund-raise for every candidate,” he said.

In the afternoon, parking his bike at the fairgrounds, he was trying to win the hearts and minds of the party faithful.

“This is my time to give back. I’m not going to take a salary, not going to take a pension,” Rauner said.

His down-home style and folksy farm analogies are in sharp contrast to his other life — as a sophisticated, successful big-city businessman. Democrats were trying to exploit at every turn.

“Nobody should be able to buy anyone’s vote,” Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn said.

Some call it class warfare.

“It’s attacking those Americans who are successful, and I don’t think that’s very American,” says U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a North Shore Republican.

Said Rauner: “I’m a middle-class kid … I made a lot of money and I’m proud of it.”

 

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