Emanuel: Giffords Shooting Not a Crisis to Exploit

At a news conference this morning, mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel fielded questions on the Arizona shooting that left Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz) in critical condition. 

When asked about a comment attributed to him some years ago about "never let a good crisis go to waste," Emanuel was taken aback .

"That's not intended for this moment, it doesn't apply to this moment," he said.

"Gabby is a friend, I recruited her to run for Congress," Emanuel said. "I started Congress on Your Corner at grocery stores - to be directly in touch - for direct access [with constituents]."
Emanuel says in his current campaign for mayor he's been to "70 el stops, 20 grocery stores, four to five bowling alleys, countless diners" and says while he has encountered some "who won't support me," he adds their reaction has been "appropriate for what you want - open access" and does not plan to curtail his public events.

"I want to do that even after I get elected."  

At the same time, "Do I worry? Yes." But quickly adds "I won't change" plans to reach out to voters.

Meanwhile, an elected state official from Illinois has called for a change in the day to day.

Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. today asked for a budget increase in the neighborhood of 10 percent for more security at district offices.

In some districts that will mean hiring security personnel for public events. In other areas, that may mean installing surveillance cameras at district offices as a deterrent or improving the locks or the entry systems in district offices. Some will need more resources in order to move their offices to a safer area.  

"I do not feel that fear should grip us, but since 9/11 we've secured every federal facility with the exception of our district offices. After the events of last weekend it is clear that our district staffs are vulnerable. Members should have the resources and the latitude to take the appropriate security measures in order to protect themselves and their staffs."

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