In possible DNC preview, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker mocks ex-President Donald Trump

Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Political News

CHICAGO — Before a captive crowd of national media members in Chicago on Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker heaped scorn upon former President Donald Trump, saying the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is cruel, wants to be a dictator and is “waiting to become the first felon elected president.”

The remarks, made at a media gathering at the United Center in preparation for this August’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago, hinted at just some of the barbs certain to be aimed at Trump this summer and highlighted the attack-dog surrogate role Pritzker is playing in the 2024 presidential campaign.

The comments also continued to boost Pritzker’s national profile as he underscored Democrats’ efforts to draw a bright line between President Joe Biden’s record and plans for a second term and Trump’s often-tumultuous single term as president.

“It’s a choice between kindness and cruelty, between a president who stands up against hatred and extremism or a candidate who promises to be a dictator and makes excuses for white supremacists who chant, ‘Jews will not replace us,’ ” Pritzker said, citing participants’ shouts during the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, an event Trump described as including “very fine people on both sides.”

“It’s a choice between a president who wakes up every morning working to improve the lives of families across this country or a guy who spends all day watching TV or flatulating in a courtroom, waiting to become the first felon elected president,” the governor said, referencing rumors of the ex-president’s behavior during his ongoing hush money trial in New York.

Pritzker was joined by both local and national Democrats who gathered as part of a media walkthrough at the United Center, which along with McCormick Place will serve as the main settings for the Aug. 19-22 gathering. The two-term Illinois governor was instrumental in bringing the DNC to Chicago and he’s expected to use the event to raise his national profile amid speculation he’s eyeing a potential White House bid after 2024.


The Republican convention is being held in July in Milwaukee.

Pritzker even used Biden’s age — something even some Democrats are concerned about — as a rallying point. Biden is 81 and Trump is 77.

“Age isn’t what distinguishes these two candidates from one another,” Pritzker said. “Donald Trump was stupid and ignorant long before he got old.

“The contrast between these two is genuinely stark, and I am truly excited to help remind the nation of that in August.”


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