They say that politics make strange bedfellows, and that sentiment is no more truly proven than by the unlikely alliance between GOP Vice Presidential pick Paul Ryan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Regarding the Chicago Teachers Union strike on Monday, Ryan voiced his support for Emanuel, and said that he stands by him in opposition to the strike.
“Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher’s union strike is unnecessary and wrong,” Ryan said in Portland, Oregon today. “We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”
A bit of background on the Chicago strike: Over 26,000 education professionals skipped out on work Monday over a contract negotiation dispute with the Chicago Board of Education. Emanuel was elected mayor in 2011, and has voiced his opposition to the strike. “Don’t worry about the test of my leadership; that gets tested every day,” he told reporters in Chicago. “The only test that matters to me is the test these kids take on whether, when you’ve got a kid going into first grade, do they know the letters? By third grade, can they read? By fourth grade, can they do the basic math? That’s the test that matters here.”
President Obama’s administration has not yet commented on the Chicago strike.
Here are Paul Ryan’s full comments regarding his support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
“If you turned on the TV this morning or sometime today, you probably saw something about the Chicago teacher’s union strike. I’d like to make a couple of comments about that because it does matter. 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.”
Where do you stand on the Chicago Teacher’s Union strike? With the teachers, or with Rahm Emanuel and (gasp) Paul Ryan?