Rauner Apologizes For Disparaging Remarks About C-U
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner came to Champaign-Urbana on Tuesday to apologize in person for disparaging remarks he made on a radio talk show about the community's ability to attract and retain technology companies.
“I apologize because I didn’t choose my words well. I was talking very inartfully about the challenges smaller communities have sometimes relative to large," said Rauner.
Rauner was joined by local legislators, educators, and business leaders as he toured three Champaign-Urbana businesses: Wolfram Research, the agriculture software firm Granular, and A and R Mechanical Contractors.
The governor praised the intellectual capital that comes out of Champaign-Urbana and the University of Illinois. He said the state needs to ensure that the high-tech talent developed in Champaign-Urbana stays in Illinois.
Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin, who was at the event, would not comment when asked about the governor’s apology. However, the Democrat said the tour shows that talent and tech companies thrive in Champaign-Urbana.
“The takeaway is that anything can happen here as long as there is support and belief that it can; and the proper investment, and the resources," said Marlin.
Rauner received backlash for saying on WGN radio last month that the U of I needed to expand in Chicago and other larger Illinois cities, because Urbana-Champaign lacked the workforce and transportation network to retain businesses that depend on large high tech work forces.