After Mayor Rahm Emanuel left a news conference on Wednesday when asked about Cubs patriarch Joe Ricketts and his super PAC's proposed Rev. Jeremiah Wright-Obama attack ad, some speculated how the controversy could impact the Ricketts' efforts to drum up city support for renovations at Wrigley Field.
That Emanuel showed up at a White Sox game that same night stoked speculation further.
But the mayor has since commented that the Ricketts revelation will not be a deciding factor in ongoing talks of a Wrigley deal, even after he previously said he was "livid" over the proposed $10 million ad campaign that would tie President Barack Obama to Rev. Wright, his former pastor. Emanuel was reportedly refusing to take the Ricketts family's calls last week.
Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday that "the point has been made" about the Ricketts controversy and that the matter won't sabotage Wrigley talks.
“We will [talk] at the appropriate time. … At the appropriate time, they’ll represent their interests, and I’ll represent the taxpayers," the mayor told the paper.
The Ricketts family has attempted to distance themselves from the Obama attack ad proposal since news of the matter broke last week.
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts told "Roe & Roeper" on WLS that he was "not too worried" that the proposed ad could derail Wrigley negotiations with the city.
"The mayor has got a lot on his plate. Whenever we get around to talking about that, that's fine with me. I'm cool with whatever timing works. It's just a matter of we've just got to kind of get through this and get it behind us," Ricketts told the station.
Tom Ricketts further argued that the controversial campaign was just one of several options presented to his father's Ending Spending Action Fund super PAC by consultants and that "it was never one of the options for them."
Nevertheless, a document obtained by the New York Times notes that the billionaire TD Ameritrade founder had given the ad campaign his "preliminary approval."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson said on MSNBC this week that the Ricketts' proposed Wright ad would have been a personal "source of pain" for him. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney last week criticized the proposal as "the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign."
Wright became a household name during the 2008 campaign when then-Senator Obama was running for office. Video of some of his sermons, in which he cursed America and made negative comments about Jews, became a source of major focus, prompting Senator Obama to publicly break ties with his spiritual adviser and deliver his now-famous speech on race in America.
The Ricketts are currently seeking public funds to renovate 98-year-old Wrigley Field. Emanuel has previously hinted a plan to use amusement tax revenues and other incentives to pay for the renovations to the park.
Prior to the controversy, the Ricketts family and the city were rumored to be in the "final stages" of a renovation plan that could include public help.