Chicago's history doesn't exactly help dispel the city's reputation for crooked politics (see slideshow below), but a recent series of attacks on the Obama stronghold from the Romney campaign have set us on edge.
In response to growing pressure from President Obama and his reelection campaign calling on the purported Republican candidate to clarify exactly when he relinquished control of private equity firm Bain Capital, Romney cried victim, accusing the president of "attacking" him in a style he says is unique to Chicago politics.
On “Fox and Friends” Monday, Romney said, “The president had only one thing going and that is constant attacks on me," the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "They’re dishonest, they’re misdirected and I think the American people recognize that kind of politics is something of the past. It may work in Chicago, but it’s not going to work across America.”
Ed Gillespie, Romney’s senior campaign adviser, also slung mud at the Windy City in a teleconference call Monday morning, where he accused the president of rewarding his friends and donors while the national economy weakens--something he suggests Obama learned while serving as a senator in Illinois, the Des Moines Register reports.
“It is essentially Chicago-style politics and Chicago-style economics,” Gillespie said, according to the newspaper.
The Obama camp has called Romney's jabs a distraction effort and dismissed the accusations, continuing to push for answers about SEC filings that suggest Romney did not leave the company in full in 1999.
Second City slams are not a new M.O. for the GOP. Long before his mayoral run, Republicans threw the same accusation at then-White House Chief Of Staff Rahm Emanuel in 2009, calling alleged intimidation efforts against detractors from the stimulus plan pages from "the playbook of the Chicago political machine.”
In December, Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock took jabs at Obama's staff while in Iowa, warning that residents could expect a nasty campaign: "Being in Iowa, you know what it means to be a Chicago politician," Rep. Schock said. "You know what kind of races Chicago politicians run."
While we can't argue that Chicago has an unblemished political record (Illinois' last two governors were sentenced to prison time for corruption), we think our state and city deserve a little more credit. Do you agree? Or is Illinois reliably crooked? Tell us in the comments.
Check out some of Chicago's and Illinois' most embarrassing political mishaps: