It has been said many times that politics makes strange bedfellows. That was proven once again Monday, when Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan voiced support for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his battle against the Chicago Teachers Union.
Emanuel, of course, was formerly chief of staff for President Barack Obama, and he was slated to begin soliciting funds for super PACs supporting Obama until the teachers strike broke out this week.
"Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teachers' union strike is unnecessary and wrong," Ryan said at a campaign fund-raiser in Portland, CNN reports. "We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel."
Obama is walking a fine line between backing Emanuel, whose stance is shared by education reformers throughout the country, and backing teachers unions that have offered strong political support to the president.
Not surprisingly, then, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that Obama hadn’t come to a conclusion on the strike yet, but that his chief focus is the students and families affected by the strike.
Ryan urged Obama to get off the fence. “This does not have to divide the two parties," the Wisconsin congressman said. "And so we're going to ask, where does President Obama stand? Does he stand with his former chief of staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with the children and the parents, or does he stand with the union? On issues like this, we need to speak out and be very clear."
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