Editor’s note: National Review, which stumbled big time on Donald Trump, evidently isn’t stumbling this time. Here is the text of an email I received from the magazine:
Dear NR Reader,
In an important editorial published this week, National Review has formally endorsed state Rep. Jeanne Ives in the Illinois Republican gubernatorial primary over incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner, stating that “Illinois Republicans should vote for Ives, the only conservative on the ballot.”
Titled “Jeanne Ives for Governor,” the editorial states the challenger is “a better alternative” to the incumbent, and explains:
Ives is an underdog and lacks Rauner’s resources, but she is both a superior candidate to the governor and a solid politician in her own right. One recent poll has her just 7 points behind Rauner. For his part, the governor . . . has been unwilling to engage Ives in debate after an embarrassing showing in a joint appearance with her at the Chicago Tribune editorial office. Illinois Republicans should vote for Ives, the only conservative on the ballot.
The editorial says Rauner “has forfeited any claim on his party’s nod,” citing his “dreadful” record, which includes “a glaring lie.” From the editorial:
Rauner, a businessman with no prior experience in politics, vowed in 2014 to take on longtime House speaker Mike “Boss” Madigan and shepherd much-needed free-market reforms through the Democratic state legislature. With the exception of education reform, he has failed to deliver on his promises even after Republicans picked up enough seats in 2016 to sustain a veto. Rauner said he would cut the state income tax; after a long budget impasse, Republican and Democratic legislators overrode him to pass an income-tax hike. He said he would reform the pension system; he bailed it out under pressure, only to see the state’s credit rating downgraded anyway. He signed a bill into law that weakens immigration enforcement. Rauner inherited a bad situation, but since taking office he has mostly made it worse.
Failing to pass the fiscal reforms he promised wouldn’t alone justify his ouster in the primary. But Rauner’s duplicity on the issue of abortion should be disqualifying to conservatives. During the election, Rauner — who is pro-choice, had once donated to Planned Parenthood, and whose wife is an abortion-rights activist — insisted that he was merely running to fix the state’s coffers. He had, he said, “no social agenda.” When a bill to guarantee abortion as a right if the Supreme Court ever overturned Roe v. Wade and provide public money for abortions through all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy began circulating in the state legislature, Rauner said he would veto it. In September, he signed it into law. Pro-lifers who voted for Rauner put their trust in a man who is now forcing them to underwrite third-trimester abortions. His record is not just dreadful, but features a glaring lie.
National Review will continue to give this important race deserved attention through the Tuesday primary. In the cover story for the December 18, 2017 edition of the magazine, National Review called Rauner “The Worst Republican Governor in America.”
Vice President, National Review