Chicago Tribune Backs Schilling: ‘Willing to Make Tough Reforms’
The Chicago Tribune has endorsed U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) over his opponent, Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) in the race for the Illinois 17th District.
The Tribune applauded Schilling for being “willing to make tough reforms” and demonstrating that he “could take a reasoned stand and defend it.” The Tribune also argued that Schilling was the best choice because he “can help drive the federal government to fiscal solvency.”
The Tribune criticized Bustos for being “long on promises to protect social safety net programs and short on solutions.”
According to the Tribune, “Five of the 25 hottest U.S. House races in the nation are here in Illinois . . . we offer an endorsement in another one, the 17th District in northwest Illinois.
The new 17th was drawn to elect a Democrat, but the race is no sure thing. It’s a familiar situation for freshman Rep. Bobby Schilling, a Colona Republican who began his 2010 campaign as the underdog and ended up ousting incumbent Democrat Phil Hare.
This time he’s up against Cheri Bustos, a communications consultant who served on the East Moline City Council and was hand-picked by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, whose kids she used to baby-sit. She’s a strong campaigner, running largely on empathy: “As a working mom, I know how hard families are working in Illinois to keep their households afloat and also know that through compromise and focused problem-solving we can overcome the partisan divides.” What does that say about how she’d restructure Medicare and Social Security, both well on the way to insolvency? Not much.
Her campaign is long on promises to protect safety net programs and short on solutions. She’s all for finding efficiencies and cutting fraud and abuse — who isn’t? — but we couldn’t get her to commit to a single cut that would reduce any actual benefits. Such are the difficult choices that Schilling has addressed, unflinchingly, for the last two years. He’s willing to make tough reforms on Medicare, Social Security, food stamps. She’s “unwilling to balance the budget on the backs of seniors and the backs of middle-class Americans.”
For all her talk of compromise, Bustos couldn’t even tell us whether she would have supported the Cooper-LaTourette budget plan — a bipartisan spending resolution that came to a House vote this year. “I can’t tell you,” she said. Then, “I’m not in Congress right now.” Then, “I don’t have a full understanding of what I would have voted on.”
Schilling didn’t have the luxury of hedging. He voted no. He said he didn’t like the bill because it didn’t address the Medicare crisis. We wish he had supported it, but at least Schilling showed he could take a reasoned stand and defend it. Schilling can help to drive the federal government to fiscal solvency. He is endorsed.