(CBS) — They’re just a few words in a downstate paper. But consider them fighting words, even a declaration of war.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on Gov. Bruce Rauner going on the offensive, in an op-ed piece published in a Springfield newspaper. His warning comes 10 days before the deadline to pass a balanced budget.

While a recent closed door meeting Rauner had with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, was termed “cordial,” there was nothing cordial about today’s op-ed in the State Journal Register.

There was no mistaking whom  the Republican governor considers the “old guard and its powerful special-interest allies” and “protectors of the failed status quo.”

“That was a declaration of war on the part of the governor against the House and Senate Democrats,” says David Ormsby of the Illinois Observer, a Democratic-leaning political website.

He says it’s indication of stormy seas ahead.

It’s all a far cry from Madigan’s Inauguration Day olive branch, when he suggested Rauner would use his business skills to work out a compromise with legislative leaders.

A Madigan spokesman says there will be a budget passed before the deadline, with or without Republican support. The question is what kind of budget.

“It would be out of balance and it would be up to the governor to accept that, meaning he has a chance to just veto it and say let’s start over on something that’s serious,” Ormsby said. “Or he could just take that and manage it.”