Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Wisconsin Politicians Criticize Illinois, Obama and O'Hare at RNC Meeting

Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus take potshots during a GOP gathering in Chicago

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A trio of Wisconsin politicians -- Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus -- came down to Illinois with claws out, deploying insults about President Barack Obama, state Democrats and the Chicago Bears.

    The three descended upon the Land of Lincoln for Republican National Committee meetings on Friday, each weighing in on The Current State of the GOP and cheerleading the party's ramped-up, Democrat-style grassroots campaign to woo new voters before November's midterms and beyond as part of a long-term strategy.

    "What better way to show we’re serious about being present everywhere than to come to the president’s hometown," said Preibus, according to the Tribune, urging committee members to "fire (Democratic Majority Leader) Harry Reid" and bring the Senate under Republican control.

    As for Illinois government, "I'm looking forward to a big Republican victory here, when voters send Gov. Quinn packing and elect Bruce Rauner the next governor," he declared. (Preibus neglected to give a shout-out to GOP state Sen. Jim Oberweis, who's running an increasingly negative though longshot campaign against Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, the chamber's second-ranking member.)

    Gov. Walker chimed in with support for Rauner and disdain for Springfield's Democrats, stating: "They’ve got all these challenges, and for all the hype and hysteria about raising taxes, they still have budget problems. That’s what you get when you have Democratic leaderships left unchecked in a state like Illinois."

    Ryan, who unsuccessfully ran for VP as Mitt Romney's running mate, cracked: "For those of you from Illinois, thank you so much for making our state look good."

    In a somewhat odd aside, Ryan tossed some shade at O'Hare and said he preferred to book flights from Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport  because it's "much more hospitable."

    The lowest blows, however, came courtesy of Walker, who dubbed Chicago a suburb of Milwaukee and and quipped: "The last time I was this close to Soldier Field on gameday, the Packers beat the Bears in the NFC Championship."

    This.