State Watch

Illinois GOP rips candidate's ad mocking transgender people, feminists

The chair of the Illinois Republican Party is calling for a GOP governor candidate to take down an advertisement that mocks feminists, the transgender community and immigration activists.

Illinois State Rep. Jeanne Ives, who is running to unseat GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, released an ad showing actors sarcastically "thanking" Rauner for allowing policies that support their rights, and criticizing him for not upholding his Republican platform.

Tim Schneider, Illinois Republican Party Chairman, released a statement saying that Ives's campaign "does not reflect" the state Republican Party, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity," he said in the statement. "Rep. Ives' campaign ad does not reflect who we are as the Party of Lincoln and as proud residents of our great and diverse state."

Schneider calls on Ives to remove the ad and "immediately apologize to the Illinoisans who were negatively portrayed in a cowardly attempt to stoke political division."

In the ad, a male actor wearing a dress and carrying a purse, says in a deep voice, "Thank you for signing legislation that lets me use the girls' bathroom."

"Thank you for making all Illinois families pay for my abortions," says a woman wearing a pink "pussy hat" made popular by the Women's March.

An actor dressed in black with a bandana covering his face, "thanks" Rauner for "opposing law enforcement and making Illinois a sanctuary state for illegal immigrant criminals."

The one-minute ad, which began running on Saturday, refers to Rauner as "the worst Republican governor in the country."

The Ives campaign has stood by the ad despite widespread criticism from Democrats and Republicans as well as activist groups and nonprofits. A spokesperson told The Associated Press that Rauner "is the one who owes Illinois families in general and conservatives in particular an apology."

A mid-January poll conducted by We Ask America found Rauner to be the more popular choice in the GOP gubernatorial primary by more than 40 points.

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