Clinton: Emanuel will be 'fearlessly honest' as Chicago mayor

Stumping for former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel Tuesday, former President Clinton said Emanuel would always be honest with Chicagoans — even when they won't like the truth.

"He will be fearlessly honest with you," Clinton said at a campaign rally for the Democratic mayoral candidate. "He will take care of you. He'll have to do things that none of us will like, but you will, in the process, once again reinvent Chicago."

Clinton also highlighted Emanuel's experience as White House chief of staff, when the Obama administration was crafting its healthcare reform bill.

"He's made big decisions and has paid attention to how they should be implemented," Clinton explained.

Emanuel's opponents have criticized Clinton's visit; former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun said Emanuel was an outsider from Washington bringing in another outsider, Clinton, to vouch for him.

In an interview with Chicago magazine, Rep. Luis Guitierrez (D-Ill.), who is supporting former Chicago Public Schools President Gery Chico, also attacked Emanuel for helping craft the Clinton administration's North American Free Trade Agreement.

Emanuel, who served as Clinton's deputy chief of staff, is the front-runner to succeed Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, retaining a double-digit lead in most polls.

Clinton added that Chicago faces serious challenges and Emanuel is the right person to help address them.

"If you want the Windy City to have a gale force of leadership, Rahm Emanuel is your mayor," Clinton said.

Clinton is not the only high-profile figure stumping for Emanuel. Andy Samberg, who has portrayed Emanuel on the sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live, will headline a fundraiser for Emanuel next week.

The mayoral election is scheduled for Feb. 22.