CHICAGO (WBBM) — During an appearance in Chicago today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seemed to assume that former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will become the city’s next mayor.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Craig Dellimore Reports

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, that LaHood was asked what his message would be for the next mayor of Chicago to assure expansion of O’Hare airport, including a new control tower and additional runways.

“Well, if it’s who I think it’s going to be, I don’t think we’ll have to deliver any messages,’’ LaHood said, referring to Emanuel’s time in the Obama White House. “I think he gets it.”

LaHood quickly backpedaled when asked if that was an endorsement of Emanuel.

“No, no,” he said. “Look anybody running for public office is going to be talking about jobs.”