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With Eye on 2018, Illinois Governor Says 'Don't Blame Me'

Rachel Otwell

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's strategy for fending off potential Democratic challengers includes stressing the bright spots while blaming others for the things going wrong.   As a Republican in a solidly Democratic state, the wealthy former businessman would've been one of the country's most endangered GOP incumbents even under the best of circumstances.   Adding to his task are a record state budget impasse and a dispute with Illinois' largest public-employee union.

Rauner focused most of his State of the State address on accomplishments such as increasing education spending. He blamed his predecessors for creating Illinois' deep financial problems.

One possible 2018 challenger, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, called him an "epic failure." The head of the Illinois Federation of Teachers wondered where Rauner has spent the past two years.

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