Donald Trump

Mitt Romney Stumps For Sen. Mark Kirk In Chicago

Oct 20, 2016

Mitt Romney stumped for US Senator Mark Kirk in Chicago.   

The former presidential nominee says a Republican Senate could keep the president in check.

"It’s essential that we have a Republican Senate to keep the Senate and keep America from going off the rails," he said.

Both Romney and incumbent Senator Kirk say they won’t vote for Donald Trump.

Kirk says he and Romney share another similarity: both are Republicans who have won in states that tend to favor Democrats.

Another Illinois Congressman withdrew his support for Donald Trump after the release of a video containing Trump’s lewd comments about women.  

Republican Rodney Davis represents the state’s 13th district and says he came to the decision after talking to his wife Saturday.  

"My wife and I decided that this was something that we could not continue to tell our kids that language that was used in that video was acceptable enough for presidential candidates, let alone anyone."

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

A new super PAC known as LIFT (Leading Illinois For Tomorrow) is spending a million dollars on ads tying Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to Donald Trump.

The group is led by Democratic  State Sen. Daniel Biss, who says the campaign is meant to inform voters what their ballot choices mean for the state's future. 

"And so, people across the state who are very concerned about what Gov. Rauner has done to politics in Illinois were generous enough to support this effort," Biss said.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says he can still win re-election next month, even as he calls for Donald Trump to quit the presidential race.

The Republican originally said he’d support his party's nominee for president. But over time - he’s criticized Donald Trump.

Speaking from his campaign bus - Kirk spoke about the release of a 2005 Access Hollywood video in which Trump talks about kissing and groping women.

"I think it reveals who he really is and we shouldn’t elect such a misogynistic candidate to the presidency."

Rauner Berates Trump's Years-Old Comments On Women

Oct 10, 2016
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Rauner has repeatedly been asked about the presidential campaign and why he wouldn’t talk about it -- despite being the state’s top Republican.

He’s said virtually nothing about the race or his party’s nominee.

Speaking to Chicago reporters Monday, Rauner did have something to say in response to the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump talks about kissing and groping women.

"The rhetoric, the language, the statements in that tape that’s recently come out: disgusting, appalling, outrageous," Rauner said. "Beyond any reasonable bounds of decency.

Tony Arnold/WBEZ

Donald Trump visited a Chicago suburb Wednesday to raise money for his presidential campaign.

The GOP nominee’s motorcade entered the Bolingbrook Golf Club through a back entrance and avoided the “Peaceful Demonstration Zone.”

About 150 protestors booed guests who entered the event, including Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar.

Demonstrator Ryan Miller is part of a Sousaphones Against Hate, a group that proceeded to play Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

“I think it’s really disappointing that the mayor would do this, and bring this fella to this town,” he said.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

You could see the contrast in the eyes of the respective candidates' spokespersons, surrogates and family members after the first presidential debate of 2016 had wrapped.

As always, earnest efforts were made on both sides to claim victory — even insist on it — after the nationally televised clash between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.


"Trump was especially strong on the issues in the first 45 minutes," said former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on CNN.

Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois Democrats are working hard to promote awareness of the Republican presidential nominee.


Donald Trump polls far behind Hillary Clinton in Illinois.

Many local Republicans are keeping their distance, but Democrats want to push them back together.

At a Democratic meeting today in Springfield, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos linked Trump’s rhetoric with that of Governor Bruce Rauner.

Mark Makela / Getty Images

Donald Trump often questions whether Hillary Clinton is honest or trustworthy enough to be president. This week, he took up another line of attack: that Clinton is in failing health.

Claims about Clinton's health have circulated for years but have gained new traction recently, in part thanks to a comment by Trump and questions raised by Fox News host Sean Hannity. 

Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan: A DNC Interview

Aug 1, 2016

As Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan ran the show for Illinois’ delegation at the Democratic National Convention last week.  As events would down, he took some time to sit down with Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and WBBM's Craig Dellimore.

They touch on everything from term limits and Donald Trump, to the state budget and November election.

On Bernie Sanders: "I  think that Bernie Sanders and the Sanders campaign have a done a great serviced for the Democratic Party in America.”

Amanda Vinicky

  The conventional wisdom is that  Ted Cruz’s speech at the Republican National Convention tore open fresh wounds of a divided party.

Illinois National Republican Committeeman Richard Porter says the outrage at Cruz isn’t a sign of discord

“That was unity man, that was 25,000 people booing him all at once," he said.

The comment prompted Jim Fisher, a farmer from near Bloomington, to walk out of the Illinois delegation’s morning meeting.

"No, no – that’s what, that’s what. No, no, I don’t agree with that," he said.

Amanda Vinicky

Donald Trump is now the Republican nominee for President, after delegates in Cleveland awarded him their votes Tuesday night. For some Illinois Republicans, it’s a time for vindication and celebration. But others remain wary.

The real work of nominating a major party candidate for president is done in the caucuses and primaries that began what may seem like ages ago.

Actually, the Iowa caucuses were less than six months ago – in the blistering cold of early February.

Amanda Vinicky


  A mix of Illinois political newcomers, elected officials, lobbyists and others have arrived in Cleveland, as the Republican National Convention gets underway.

Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Take this scene from the TV show The West Wing, when a couple of Democratic White House staffers jealously scoff at Republicans’ easy rally behind a nominee.

“Get ready for press questions about how organized and unified the Republicans are compared to us," says one.

Flickr user Marc Nozell / "Hillary Clinton in Hampton, NH (April 2007)" (CC v 2.0)

Hillary Clinton returned to Illinois’s capital city today to give a speech focused on racial tensions and other divisions that she says hold back the nation. 

Clinton says recent turmoil has blacks questioning whether their lives matter, while economic turmoil has workers questioning whether America cares about their future. She says in times like this, the nation needs a President who can pull all sides together.

Northern Illinois University

Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial remarks could affect the Illinois U.S. Senate race, according to one expert.

Northern Illinois University political scientist Matt Streb says he can’t remember a time when candidates distanced themselves from their party’s nominee. He says this is affecting the race between incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.

Republican Mark Kirk Says He Won't Support Trump

Jun 7, 2016

The junior U.S. Senator from Illinois has reached a breaking point in support for his party's presidential candidate.

Kirk said Tuesday that, as the presidential campaign progressed, he was hoping the rhetoric would tone down and reflect a campaign that’s "inclusive, thoughtful and principled."

But he says Trump’s latest statements about a federal judge of Mexican heritage were dead wrong and un-American.

Kirk has said he’d support the party’s nominee.

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced this week that he will not yet support Donald Trump in his

presidential run.  In response, Trump said he is not ready to support Ryan's agenda either.

It appears Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL, 16th) will also stay away from Trump's bid for now.

Mary Altaffer/AP

The wife of Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz made a campaign stop in southern Illinois yesterday.

Heidi Cruz greeted a standing room only crowd at Eckert’s Restaurant in Belleville.

Her visit comes less than a week before the state’s primary -- which could prove critical to her husband’s chances at winning the nomination.

Cruz is widely seen as Donald Trump’s main Republican rival.

And Heidi Cruz says state voters will be attracted to her husband’s consistency.

Flickr user Marc Nozell / "Ted Cruz" (CC v. 2.0)

The debate over whether Canadian-born Ted Cruz is eligible to be president is moving from the campaign trail to the courtroom.

Lawsuits challenging the Texas Republican's eligibility for the ballot have been filed in states including Illinois, New York and Alabama. Fellow GOP candidate Donald Trump also has threatened to sue over the issue.

Cruz and some legal experts say he's eligible because his mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born.

Thousands Come For Trump In Springfield

Nov 10, 2015
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

More than 10,000 people came to Illinois’s capitol city last night to hear from Donald Trump, who’s leading Republican polls in the race for President. 

Trump spoke for more than an hour at the convention center. That’s just blocks away from the Old State Capitol, where President Barack Obama declared his candidacy in 2007. 

Trump criticized Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and says he wants to repeal Obama's signature health care law.

"We have incompetent people leading us. And we can't keep doing it,” Trump said. “We can't keep doing it."

Two More Presidential Candidates Pop Up In Illinois

Nov 9, 2015

Presidential contenders have been popping up in Illinois.

That includes two today.

The Illinois primary election is March 15th. That's a full month and a half after the Iowa caucuses, which kick off the race for America's next president.

But some of the top candidates are spending time here. Hillary Clinton campaigned -- and raised money -- in Chicago last week.

Today, Republicans are flying in.

Donald Trump will hold a rally in Springfield tonight. Back up north, former Ohio former Gov. John Kasich is stopping by Chicago's Billy Goat tavern tonight.