The best Pritzker-Bailey debate moments that will have everyone talking
NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Gov. JB Pritzker and Republican rival Sen. Darren Bailey faced each other Thursday night in the first of two Nexstar debates. Here are the moments from that first debate between Pritzker and Bailey that we think everyone will be talking about.
“Can I have a chance?” “No.”
In a back-and-forth debate, many questions were first put to one candidate or another, often with the possibility of the other candidate responding afterwards. However, some questions were tailored for either Governor Pritzker or Senator Bailey.
After several back-and-forths about taxes, the moderators moved on to the next topic. Bailey disagreed but was effectively shut down by WGN-TV News host Tahman Bradley.
“Can I have a chance? My name is being called,” Bailey said.
Bradley’s response was quick and effective: “No.”
The moment got the audience laughing and the presenters moved on to discuss abortion.
“I couldn’t change that even if I tried.”
WCIA-TV news anchor Jennifer Roscoe raised the prospect of a nationwide abortion ban with Bailey, and he had a response that surprised some members of the audience.
“Illinois has the most permissive abortion laws in the nation. Nothing will change when I’m governor. I couldn’t change them if I could [sic]’ Bailey said.
He went on to say that abortion would not be a top issue for him in office, but would prioritize taxes, crime and education.
Leave it to the “equal branch”
Since the July 4th shooting at the Highland Park parade, Pritzker has called for a nationwide ban on assault weapons. When asked why this had not happened at the state level, the governor dodged.
“There are working groups that are looking at this in the General Assembly – remember, the General Assembly is an equal branch of government. They have to do their jobs so that we actually have laws,” Pritzker replied.
“We ask the questions here.”
Later in the gun control discussion, Sen. Bailey tried to moderate by asking a question directly to Pritzker.
After dodging a question about whether he thought teachers should be armed, Bailey changed the subject.
“While we have time, I want to assure you that if I am elected governor, I will serve all four years of my term. I promise you I won’t run for another elected office,” Senator Bailey said regarding rumors that Pritzker is running for president in 2024, I’d like to ask if you’d be interested in signing the same pledge. “
To cheers from the crowd, Bailey pulled a piece of paper out of his suit jacket.
“Well? Do you have an answer?”
The presenters took the moment to remind the audience to hold their applause and to remind Sen. Bailey that “this is where we ask the questions.”
JB renews commitment to Illinois
The moderators picked up Bailey’s question and answered her, urging Pritzker to commit to a full term if re-elected.
“I intend to serve four more years as governor and be reelected, and I intend to support the president who is running for re-election,” Pritzker said.
“Can you name the Jewish leaders who agree with you?”
Senator Bailey recently made headlines when he compared abortion to the loss of life during the Holocaust. The statement was controversial and widely opposed by the Jewish community, including Bailey’s opponents.
Bailey has since doubled down on that statement, even stating in the debate that his statement “is true when you compare the numbers.”
He has stated that several Jewish leaders have told him he is right.
When asked onstage to name these leaders, Bailey said no.
The next debate is scheduled for October 18 at 7 p.m
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