Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke out against the Chicago Teachers Union strike on Monday, saying he stands behind Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's opposition to the demonstration.
"Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher's union strike is unnecessary and wrong," Ryan said in Portland, Ore., according to a pool report transcript. "We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel."
More than 26,000 education professionals in the Chicago area did not attend work on Monday over a contract negotiation dispute with the Chicago Board of Education.
President Barack Obama's administration declined to comment on the strike. Emanuel, elected mayor in 2011, was Obama's chief of staff from 2009 to 2010.
Here are Ryan's full remarks:
If you turned on the TV this morning or sometime today, you probably
saw something about the Chicago teacher's union strike. I'd like to
make a couple of comments about that because it does matter. I've
known Rahm Emanuel for years. He's a former colleague of mine. 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 teacher's union strike is
unnecessary and wrong. We know that Rahm is not going to support our
campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm
We stand with the children and we stand with the families and the
parents of Chicago because education reform, that's a bipartisan
issue. This does not have to divide the two parties. And so, we were
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 really clear. In a Romney-Ryan administration we
will not be ambiguous, we will stand with education reform, we will
champion bipartisan education reforms. This is a critical linchpin to
the future of our country, to our economy, to make sure that our
children go to the best possible school, and that education reforms
revolve around the parents and the child, not the special interest
group. This is something that's critical for all of us.