Diana Rauner Grants First Campaign Media Interview | NBC Chicago
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Diana Rauner Grants First Campaign Media Interview

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    NEWSLETTERS

    9/26/2014: Rauner says her husband is committed to social issues and denies claims the couple is out of touch with everyday Illinois residents. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Friday, Sept. 26, 2014)

    Diana Rauner has appeared in campaign ads and news conferences to help support Republican Bruce Rauner's campaign for Illinois governor, but on Friday she gave her first one-on-one media interview to NBC 5.

    As president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund -- a group dedicated to providing quality early childhood experiences -- Diana Rauner says her husband is also committed to social issues.

    "You can trust him that no way he will ever let something happen to our reproductive rights," Diana Rauner said.

    "I think this is a great opportunity, in this race, where we don't have to actually think about the social issues, because both candidates are pro-choice."

    Diana Rauner is often seen campaigning alongside her husband and he mentions her often in his speeches.

    And she doesn't shy away from the "feminist" label.

    "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people," she said.

    The Rauners, who are multi-millionaires, have received criticism that their lifestyle doesn't relate to everyday Illinois voters.

    "Let me tell you about my lifestyle. I get up every day and I walk my dog. I used to get my kids off to school, but now they're gone. And then I go to work, and I spend all day thinking about the education of young people in poverty," Diana Rauner said.

    Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign points out that Diana Rauner has applauded Quinn's budgets in the past, but she tells NBC 5 that the governor's budget has cut funding to early childhood education by $80 million.

    A Quinn spokesman says that's not true, because federal funds have helped the state hold the line.

    Both candidates in the race are angling for the women's vote. A new poll this week from We Ask America showed Quinn leading Rauner among women, 44-42 percent, while Rauner commands a larger male following, 47-36 percent.

    Diana Rauner's full interview will be posted on NBCChicago.com on Sunday.