Illinois Rep. Jeanne Ives warned on Friday that Gov. Bruce Rauner may be a threat to the rights of gun owners, and she criticized legislation lawmakers approved this week aimed at responding to recent high-profile shootings.
Ives, who is challenging Rauner in the March 20 Republican primary for governor, made a stop Friday at CityView Celebrations in Moline. There, she was blunt, calling Rauner a "do-nothing liar" who had betrayed social conservatives.
She also was critical of the gun legislation, saying a licensing bill that was sent to the governor hurts small retailers while protecting big box stores. Rauner won't have to sign the bill by the primary, which Ives pointed out.
"If you're a gun owner, you've got to wonder if your gun rights are going to be taken away," she said.
The Wheaton Republican said the only legislation she supported was to ban bump stocks, a device that allows for more rapid fire.
In addition to the licensing bill, which would include a $1,000 fee every five years, the House also voted on measures to ban the sale of assault weapons to people under the age of 21 and require a 72-hour waiting period after the purchase of an assault weapon.
The Parkland, Florida, shooting, along with the killing of a Chicago police commander last month, sparked the new wave of legislation.
Justin Giorgio, a spokesman for the Rauner campaign, responded: “We have to do everything we can to protect our citizens, protect our second amendment and not burden our small businesses. The bill just got to the Governor’s desk and he will look at it very closely."
With the primary a little more than two weeks away, Rauner holds a lead over Ives, according to a new poll. A survey by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute said that Rauner leads Ives, 51 percent to 31 percent.
The poll also said that Rauner trails Democrats JB Pritzker and state Sen. Daniel Biss in a hypothetical matchup.
Ives was joined in Moline by her running mate, Rich Morthland, a former state representative from Cordova who is currently on the Rock Island County Board.
Ives has been the target of a slew of television advertising by the governor, in particular a spot that accuses her of being a servant of Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan.
Ives, who got into the race arguing Rauner had betrayed social conservatives on abortion and immigration, acknowledged Rauner's attacks but said the Madigan ad is a fabrication. She also criticized the governor for his approach to Madigan, saying that "name calling" is not productive.
"One thing about Mike Madigan. If you attack him personally, he's going to be relentless," she said.
She predicted if Rauner is re-elected, "Mike Madigan would have a heck of a good time sticking it in the back again and again. That’s no way to go," she said.
Ives said she would "work around him or work with him, whatever it takes."