Ryan: ‘We stand’ with Emanuel in fight with Chicago teachers union

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Monday that former White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was doing the right thing in his high-profile labor dispute with Chicago public school teachers.

"Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teachers' union strike is unnecessary and wrong," Ryan said at a fundraiser Monday night in Portland, Ore., according to CNN. "We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel."

Ryan's remarks came the same day that Mitt Romney issued a statement accusing the Chicago teachers union of "turning its back on families relying on public schools."

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“I am disappointed by the decision of the Chicago Teachers Union to turn its back on not only a city negotiating in good faith but also the hundreds of thousands of children relying on the city’s public schools to provide them a safe place to receive a strong education," Romney said. "Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet."

Romney's statement goes on to criticize President Obama as having "chosen his side" with the union in the fight, although the White House insisted Monday that the president did not have a position in the labor dispute. On Monday night, Ryan called on the president to articulate his views on the dispute.


"This does not have to divide the two parties," Ryan said. "And so we're going to ask, where does President Obama stand? Does he stand with his former chief of staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with the children and the parents, or does he stand with the union? On issues like this, we need to speak out and be very clear."

Some 30,000 teachers and support staff in Chicago Public Schools are striking for the second consecutive day on Tuesday after stalled negotiations. The city and teacher's union have been negotiating for some eight months.

On Monday, Emanuel dismissed Romney's remarks as politically motivated during a press conference in Chicago.

"While I appreciate his lip service, what really counts is what we're doing here and I don't give two hoots about national comments scoring political points or trying to embarrass or whatever the president," Emanuel said.