When it comes to Chicago's teacher strike, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is getting support from an unlikely source: his former Republican colleague in Congress.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), spoke briefly of the strike during a fundraising event in Portland Oregon.
"I've known Rahm Emanuel for years. He's a former colleague of mine. Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher's union strike is unnecessary and wrong. We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
We stand with the children and we stand with the families and the parents of Chicago because education reform, that's a bipartisan issue. This does not have to divide the two parties. And so, we were going to ask, where does President Obama stand? Does he stand with his former Chief of Staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with the children and the parents, or does he stand with the union? On issues like this, we need to speak out and be really clear. In a Romney-Ryan administration we will not be ambiguous, we will stand with education reform, we will champion bipartisan education reforms. This is a critical linchpin to the future of our country, to our economy, to make sure that our children go to the best possible school, and that education reforms revolve around the parents and the child, not the special interest group. This is something that's critical for all of us."
Ryan, of course, is Gov. Mitt Romney's vice presidential nominee on the Republican ticket. Romney is in the Chicago area on Monday evening for a fundraiser in Lake Forest. Prior to his arrival, he said he was "disappointed" by the strike.
The strike sets up a historic confrontation between Emanuel, President Barack Obama's former top White House aide, and organized labor in the president's home city.
The work stoppage could hurt relations between Obama's Democrats and national labor unions, who are among the biggest financial supporters of the Democratic Party, and will be needed by the party to help get out the vote in the November 6 election.
NBC Chicago has an array of reporters and producers covering the Chicago teacher strike. Check our live blog for continuous coverage and updates throughout the strike.