GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Monday--hours before landing at O'Hare for a $3 million Lake Forest fund-raiser--said he was "disappointed" the Chicago Teachers Union decided to strike--and used the strike to bash teachers' unions, President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at the Monday briefing President Barack Obama is "aware" of the Chicago Teachers' strike--but has "no opinion" other than his "concern" for students and a "hope" both sides come together to settle it "quickly."
This is a contrast to Mitt Romney--who on Monday--came out strongly against the Chicago Teachers Union.
Obama has a difficult situation here: he does not want to undermine Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his former White House chief of staff-- who last week took on major fund-raising responsibilities for the main Obama Super Pac; he does not want to seem lock-step with a public employee union and give ammunition to Romney while at the same time he does not want to alienate organized labor--one of the strongest most loyal base Democratic groups.
Click HERE to read all the Carney remarks about the Chicago public school strike at the briefing...
Chicago's public school teachers hit the picket lines on Monday as Mayor Rahm Emanuel is scrambling for a fix. In the meantime, Romney--who been slamming teachers' unions as an impediment to improving public schools-- waded into a local controversy with national implications.
Said Romney in a statement, "I am disappointed by the decision of the Chicago Teachers Union to turn its back on not only a city negotiating in good faith but also the hundreds of thousands of children relying on the city's public schools to provide them a safe place to receive a strong education. Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet. President Obama has chosen his side in this fight, sending his Vice President last year to assure the nation's largest teachers union that 'you should have no doubt about my affection for you and the President's commitment to you.' I choose to side with the parents and students depending on public schools to give them the skills to succeed, and my plan for education reform will do exactly that."