In Illinois governor’s debate, Bailey tries to put Pritzker on the defensive

It’s no secret that Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois has presidential ambitions. This year, he traveled to New Hampshire, used his billions to fund other Democratic candidates in critical states, and made himself a national figure in the fight for abortion rights and control of fire arms.

So when Mr. Pritzker’s Republican opponent, State Senator Darren Bailey, pulled out of his suit jacket pocket a pledge to serve all four years in office in the November ballot, Mr. Pritzker responded with what was not quite waterproof. assertion.

“I intend to serve four more years if re-elected,” Mr. Pritzker said. “I intend to support the president, he is a candidate for re-election.”

President Biden has not formally made this statement himself, but there are indications that he intends to run, just as Mr. Pritzker intends to serve a second term. But neither of the two men formalized his promise.

Mr. Bailey’s pledge presentation was just one moment in an hour-long debate in which he sought to put Mr. Pritzker on the defensive, regularly interrupting the governor or mumbling asides while Mr. Pritzker was speaking.

But Mr Bailey, a far-right lawmaker, found himself having to explain his past statements comparing abortion to the Holocaust.

“The attempted extermination of Jews in World War II, it doesn’t even compare to the shadow of life that has been lost to abortion since it was legalized,” Mr Bailey said in a clip. Facebook Live video that moderators played during the debate.

Mr. Bailey was then asked: “You said that the Jewish leaders told you that you were right. Can you name Jewish leaders who agree with you?

The state senator responded by saying “the liberal press” had taken his past remarks, which he said were from 2017, out of context.

“The atrocity of the Holocaust is unparalleled,” he said.

Asked again to name Jewish leaders who agreed with him, Mr. Bailey hesitated.

“No, I’m not going to put anyone on the record,” he said.