Karen Lewis compares Rauner to ISIS recruits

The head of the Chicago Teachers Union has harsh words for Gov. Bruce Rauner and his leadership.

Union President Karen Lewis calls the first-term Republican a "recruit for ISIS" for "acts of terror" when it comes to dealing with poor people.

Lewis made the comments during a Wednesday speech to the City Club of Chicago. It comes during a 10-month state budget standoff between Rauner and legislative Democrats.

Wielding words as weapons is the way Karen Lewis rolls. Her political foes are not just mistaken or misguided. They're utterly evil. So, at the City Club today, Gov. Rauner became a member of ISIS, the murderous Middle Eastern death cult that beheaded Northwestern U. grad James Foley and kidnapped hundreds of sex slaves.

"Yes, I said it. And I'll say it again. Bruce Rauner is a liar. And, you know, I've been reading in the news lately all about these ISIS recruits popping up all over the place," Lewis said. "The things he's doing look like acts of terror on poor and working class people."

While Lewis didn't specify exactly what Rauner's "acts of terror" might be, they clearly include his plans to reduce the power of government employee unions like her teachers union. The CTU is among the most powerful in America, because, even when members go on strike, they rarely lose any pay. Strike days are usually made up at the end of the school year.

The governor's spokeswoman responded, "This kind of rhetoric has no place in American public discourse and sets a terrible example for our kids." 

Rauner himself is no slouch when it comes to rhetorical exaggeration. He's called all government employee unions "corrupt," because they give campaign contributions to politicians who then give union members big pay raises and fat pensions. Rauner says it's why Illinois taxpayers are now saddled with huge public debts.

"He talks about me all the time. So, guess what? The gloves are off," Lewis said. "The rhetoric around the governor is that people need to know who is the bad guy and the bully in this."

She staunchly defended House Speaker Mike Madigan, who's been in Springfield for 46 years. Rauner's been there for 15 months. But Lewis said voters should blame the current mess on the governor.