Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, where he defended President Obama's policies and discussed his plans to bring businesses and jobs to Chicago.
The show was filmed from Chicago this week, in honor of "Chicago Ideas Week," and also featured appearances by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL).
Host David Gregory asked Emanuel several questions about President Obama's decisions over the years, and Emanuel told Gregory that Obama often would reject doing “the quick political thing,” instead focusing on what will help America in the long term.
When questioned about Obama's current approval ratings, Emanuel said health care and financial reform may have cost the president some political capital, but ultimately shows his decision to put people over politics.
"Today we're stronger because of those leadership positions and he hasn't lost a fight. And what you want out of a leader is somebody who hasn't lost a fight," Emanuel said. "I believe, like I do for the City of Chicago, if I can get one moment in for the city of Chicago, if you spend political capital on what you believe is right for the country, and not just political capital, because you know you have to reorganize and restructure, you'll be stronger coming out of that."
Emanuel went on to tout some of his accomplishments as mayor so far. Despite his ongoing battle with the Chicago Teachers Union, Emanuel explained the big changes coming to Chicago Public Schools. He explained his decision to hold everyone accountable for student performance--teachers, principals and even schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.
"Step one, we are going to have the longest school day and school year in the country from the shortest," Emanuel told Gregory. "Step two, where other cities and states are cutting back on early childhood [development], 6,000 more kids in the city of Chicago will get a full kindergarten. Step three, we have the first accountability from the corporate suite in the school system all the way to the classroom. Everybody will be on performance pay, including principals, teachers, and the CEO of the school system. And it's the first time anywhere in the country a school system has accountability."
Watch the whole interview with Emanuel above, and check out the roundtable with Rep. Schock and Rep. Gutierrez here.