Highlights from second Illinois gubernatorial debate - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Highlights from second Illinois gubernatorial debate

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CHICAGO -- With election day now just over a month away candidates are making their pitch to undecided voters. In a contentious, often heated debate, Illinois Governor candidates met on the same stage for the second time this cycle. 

Republican Incumbent Bruce Rauner and Democrat JB Pritzker traded blows and attacked each other as wrong for the state. 

Pritzker blamed Rauner for the state’s two-year budget impasse, saying it was his unwillingness to work across the aisle that caused the financial crisis.

"Here’s what Governor Rauner’s big mistake is," Pritzker said, "He’s unwilling to work with people. Even when you don’t like somebody across the table or you don’t agree with them, sometimes for the good of the people of the state of Illinois, you’ve got to work with them."

Rauner labeled Pritzker as a tax cheat who inherited his wealth and has no real accomplishments.

"He is trying to buy political office, he’s trying to buy the governorship to be something for the first time in his life, because if he wasn’t a trust fund baby he would be nothing," Rauner said.

When the discussion turned to the economy, things got heated as Pritzker brought up his plan for a progressive income tax. 

Pritzker said, "Bruce Rauner and I are not in the middle class and the wealthy in the state should step up to the plate," to which Rauner responded, "I pay my taxes you don’t."

Pritzker then told Rauner, "You are hiding money in the Cayman Islands, you moved money abroad. That is what you did."

Rauner claims Pritzker wants to raise taxes across the board, which would hurt small business.

"If Mr. Pritzker gets in office an implements his tax plan, there’s going to be a giant sucking sound," Rauner said. "But it won’t be from his toilets, it’d going to be the sound of businesses going down the drain in this state."

The pair also discussed the state’s role in immigration enforcement.

Rauner said local law enforcement should cooperate with federal authorities, shooting down the idea that Illinois should be a sanctuary state, "We should welcome legal immigration through comprehensive immigration reform, but bills that make us force local residents to accept illegal immigrants is wrong."

Pritzker said immigrants, whether here legally or not, shouldn’t have to look over their shoulders, "People have suffered trauma as a result of what President Trump has done. Look, immigrants in this nation are good for our economy, they’re good for our state, they’re good for job creation, and it’s the right thing to do to stand up for them."

A poll released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute earlier this week shows Pritzker leading Rauner by more than 20 points.

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