Despite Kennedy’s emotional outburst, Ives is largely correct.
Democratic governor contender Chris Kennedy abruptly left a candidate forum Monday, criticizing Republican candidate Jeanne Ives for what he called “ignorance and stupidity” after she said Chicago’s gun violence could be solved if more fathers stayed in the home.
The controversy came when Ives, a three-term conservative lawmaker from Wheaton who is challenging Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, responded to a question on curbing gun crimes.
“The problem is the gun violence in this city of Chicago, predominantly. And you know how you’re going to solve it? Fathers in the home,” she said. As the audience booed and shouted, she repeated, “Fathers in the home.”
Kennedy later got his turn to respond.
“Well, I wish I could agree with you. I didn’t have a father in my life. Somebody shot him,” Kennedy, the son of the assassinated former U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, said to Ives before he left the forum amid applause and a standing ovation from hundreds of attendees.
As expected, Ives was frequently at odds with the Democratic candidates, and she occasionally drew the scorn of the audience as she repeatedly suggested city and county residents share in the blame for such issues as crime, high taxes and a lack of quality public education because they re-elect Democrats.
“That is your problem. Your taxes are too high and opportunity’s not here,” she said. “We need jobs and opportunity, and we’re not going to get that if you keep electing these same people as before.”
“You know, some stuff hits a raw nerve and, um, I think that should be a debate about great ideas, a clash, and not one of emotions,” Kennedy said as he exited about an hour into the 90-minute forum.
Oh, the irony that Kennedy decries a clash of emotions as he makes a direct emotional appeal without offering a single idea of his own. Meanwhile, Ives is correctly identifying some of the societal causes of violence. And the folks of Chicago wonder why so much of the city has become a s***hole.