In a statement released Monday (Sept. 10) Romney said that he was “disappointed” in the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to “turn its back on not only a city negotiating in good faith but also the hundreds of thousands of children relying on the city’s public schools to provide them a safe place to receive a strong education.”
Romney made a campaign trip to the city, but made sure to attack the President’s policies before landing at O’Hare International Airport. “President Obama has chosen his side in this fight, sending his vice president last year to assure the nation’s largest teachers union that ‘You should have no doubt about my affection for you and the president’s commitment to you,’” he said. “I choose to side with the parents and students depending on public schools to give them skills to succeed, and my plan for education reform will do exactly that.”
Jay Carney, spokesperson for the White House, said that the president has offered no particular stance on the strike, thus making Romney’s claims unwarranted. Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel—a former White House chief of staff and supporter of the president’s candidacy— reamed Romney’s comments as being pointless and distracting. “While I appreciate the lip service, what really counts is what we’re doing here,” he said. “I don’t really give two hoots about national comments scoring political points or trying to embarrass, or whatever, the president.”
For the first time in 25 years, Chicago teachers announced that they would go on strike after they were unable to reach an agreement over salaries and health benefits. Roughly 400,000 students will remain out of school until an agreement is reached.
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