Romney Praises Emanuel, Blasts Obama - NBC Chicago
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Romney Praises Emanuel, Blasts Obama



    Romney: "Illinois is in Play"

    Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney Slams Obama in a Chicago visit, but steers clear of criticizing Mayor Emanuel. (Published Thursday, May 26, 2011)

    Possible 2012 Republican Candidate for president Mitt Romney had kind words for Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a visit to Chicago Thursday, but blasted Emanuel's former boss.

    "It looks to me like (Emanuel’s) getting off to a good start," Romney said in a meeting with business leaders at Gino’s East on North Wells Street.

    Romney wasn't so kind to President Barack Obama, whose 2012 campaign headquarters is down the street.

    "There is no state that is safe from President Obama given the performance of our economy," he said, adding that the president lacks experience in the private sector to create job growth.

    "It’s simply a tragedy not to have had our economy improve at an accelerated rate," he said.

    Romney said he faced a residency challenge similar to Emanuel when he ran for governor of Massachusetts.

    "I have sympathy for any mayor that takes on a tough job. He's taken on a tough job in the City of Chicago. I wish him the very best," he said.

    The visit was part of "The Romney for President Exploratory Committee." Romney has yet to officially announce that he’s running, nonetheless he promised to make Chicago a focus of his campaign.

    "I expect you’re going to see a Republican in the White House, and I may well be that person," he said.