"He knows where I come from, and I think rather than kindle a fire here in a situation, he ought to try to bring a measured response," said Chico of his former boss.
During a fiery speech introducing Chico at a fundraising event on Tuesday, the president of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, Jim Sweeney, called Emanuel "nothing but a Wall Street Judas."
Chico and Sweeney maintain the comment was in reference to Judas being a traitor and wasn't intended to offend anyone. Chico noted that he has three Jewish daughters and a Jewish ex-wife.
"Mayor Daley knows better about me. Mayor Daley was at my daughter's Bat Mitzvah," said Chico.
But the Emanuel campaign said the crack had religious undertones.
Earlier Thursday, Daley expressed agreement and shook his finger over the inclusion of a religious or ethnic attack in politics.
"That lowers the campaign for the city of Chicago and it's a disgrace," he said during a question-and-answer session at City Hall.
Asked if he thought the mayor's comment was an endorsement of Emanuel, Chico said he hoped it wasn't.
"Let's hope that somebody would not use this situation and a division among religions for political gain. That would be very, very bad. That would be a low point in politics," said Chico.