The Illinois governor’s race is intensifying, and one conservative campaign ad is so offensive the leader of the Illinois Republican Party wants it taken down.
Jeanne Ives, who is running to unseat incumbent Bruce Rauner, released an ad titled “Thank You Bruce Rauner” that used extremely offensive tropes to mock her opponent.
The ad promotes transphobia, anti-immigration and anti-reproductive rights rhetoric in a mere 60 seconds.
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In the video, there’s a young white woman wearing a pussy hat that thanks Rauner for “making all Illinois families pay for my abortions.” According to The Cut, this refers to House Bill 40 that allows Medicaid and state-employee insurance to fund abortions.
Another actor, a man in a dress carrying a purse, thanks Rauner for allowing him to “use the girl's room.” In August 2017, Rauner signed a bill that made it easier for transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.
The insults didn’t stop there. The commercial goes on to refer to undocumented people as “illegal immigrant criminals,” accused Rauner of "bailing out Chicago teachers' pensions" and called him the “worst Republican governor in the country.”
The ad was so offensive that Tim Schneider, the chair of the Illinois GOP, released a statement condemning it.
“There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity,” said Schneider. “Rep. Ives’ campaign ad does not reflect who we are as the Party of Lincoln and as proud residents of our great and diverse state.”
Despite the backlash, Ives stands by the ad, defending it during a speech to the Chicago City Club on Monday.
“What the commercial that is generating the expected hysteria from the expected quarters attempted to do — admittedly, provocatively — was to properly and truthfully characterize the extreme issue positions Rauner took and their implications,” Ives said. “The commercial does not attack people. It tackles issues by truthfully illustrating the constituencies Rauner has chosen to serve to the exclusion of others.”