Amid Presidential Chatter, Pritzker Says He’s Supporting Biden, Focused on Serving as Governor

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has seen his profile rise on the national stage in recent years, and though there’s still plenty of speculation about a future White House run, he’s still insisting that such a move is not imminent.

Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, Pritzker says that he’s focused on serving as governor of Illinois.

“I’m supporting Joe Biden,” he said. “He’s running for reelection, and he’s going to get reelected. I’m just, you know, happy that people think of me in that way. That’s certainly very flattering, but I intend to serve out my term as governor of Illinois.”

Pritzker was reelected in Nov. 2022, defeating now-former Republican State Sen. Darren Bailey in the general election. Bailey made it a point to mention Pritzker using the governor’s office as a stepping stone to the White House, something that the incumbent repeatedly downplayed during the campaign.

Even before that reelection, Pritzker was floated as a possible candidate for president should Biden decide not to run, and though Biden has not yet officially declared his candidacy, he has repeatedly said that he is planning to seek a second term in the Oval Office.

The question of the presidency was brough to the forefront again in a recent New York Times profile of Pritzker that called him ‘The Democrats’ SOS Candidate’ should Biden decide not to run.

Despite his insistence in the NYT piece, and in the CBS interview, that he is focused on serving as governor, others quoted in that post have kept fanning the flames of a potential presidential run.

“He would run for two good reasons: he’s a billionaire who’s not afraid to spend his own money, and he’s very progressive, which is where the Democratic Party is today,” Ray LaHood, former transportation secretary, told the paper.

CBS also reports that Pritzker could serve on an advisory board for Biden if he decides to run for reelection, and he took the opportunity to express his support for the president.

“He’s gotten a tremendous amount done for the country, saved literally hundreds of thousands of lives by making sure that vaccines were distributed,” he said. “What is Joe Biden’s superpower? It’s that he demonstrates empathy in everything that he does. He truly cares about the American people.”

Pritzker is one of several Democratic governors that have been floated as possible candidates should Biden not run, with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also serving as possibilities.

At home, Pritzker is focused on getting his new budget passed, and is also facing questions on whether he will endorse a candidate in Chicago’s mayoral race, something he declined to do before the Feb. 28 election.

Region: Chicago,Local,City: Chicago

via Local – NBC Chicago

March 5, 2023 at 03:23PM

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