Rep. Luis GutierrezLuis Vicente GutierrezIllinois Democrats propose new 'maximized' congressional map Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic primary fight shifts to South Carolina, Nevada MORE says the only reason former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (D) is running for Chicago mayor is "because he can't be Speaker of the House."
The Illinois Democrat said that Emanuel, the front-runner in the Feb. 22 mayoral primary, and former President Clinton — who stumped for Emanuel on Tuesday — are to blame for the loss of thousands of Illinois jobs.
Gutierrez made the comments in an interview with Chicago Magazine, labeling Emanuel the "chief architect of NAFTA," the free-trade agreement Gutierrez says devastated the state's economy.
"The Clinton administration and Rahm never ... engaged people in a public policy debate around NAFTA," Gutierrez told the magazine. "The question always was, 'What is it going to take to get your vote?' "
The comments came ahead of a noon rally headlined by the former president.
Gutierrez, who will also target Emanuel in a robocall he's recording for mayoral opponent Gery Chico, said the former congressman was difficult to work with in the House, noting that "Rahm always thought about the mechanics of electoral and political victory and always put a higher premium on that over the substance of public policy."
Clinton's campaign visit has also generated criticism from former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.), the candidate closest to Emanuel in public polling ahead of the Feb. 22 primary.
Braun has said that Clinton should stay out of the race.