Teachers strike rages on in Chicago
Debate over politics behind issue
- Duration 5:45
- Date Sep 11, 2012
Debate over politics behind issue
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This transcript is automatically generated
Happening now no school for nearly 400000.
Students in Chicago again today.
As public school teachers -- strike for the second straight day over a contract dispute.
Parents are left scrambling to find somewhere for their kids to go and the teachers and school board returned to the bargaining table.
Governor Mitt Romney criticizing the teacher's union saying quote it is plain that their interests conflict with those of our children.
President Obama meanwhile has yet to take a stand on the strike before one parent had to say.
I cannot understand what -- what they're trying to do a lot of -- -- -- so situated and their livelihood but.
This is -- indulges them it's her education first of all and then my paycheck for the full.
For more on the politics of the Chicago teachers strike and how it could affect the presidential campaigns let's turn to our fair and balanced panel.
Match -- is a former White House political director under president George W.
Peter Mary -- and is a former advisor to the Clinton gore and Lieberman campaigns welcome to both of you.
-- we are we just heard that citizens saying I understand you know what they're trying to do they're just trying to provide for their families Chicago teachers on average make 76000 dollars a year.
The average worker in Chicago the average citizen is making 46000.
Dollars a year.
And the teachers want a what 16%.
-- they actually have turned down to this point.
A 16% pay increase over four years it seems like this is about more than money.
Yeah absolutely it's also about power I think the city -- Chicago wants the ability.
To actually trim the number of teachers and this is a real radical idea they actually want teachers to be held accountable on the progress of the students.
But what's really going on here is I think mayor Emmanuel.
-- Scott Walker in Wisconsin an apology.
Because when you get -- and start to govern a state or city.
You realize the budget problems that the city Chicago San.
You've got to make tough decisions he got to negotiate tough.
Rahm Emanuel is actually doing that.
Whereas President Obama he doesn't want to get involved because at the fifty million dollars that National Education Association spent elected in 2008 so.
Presence -- politics in his Chicago the gotta get down to cut a deal.
Peter President Obama has said to the teacher's union the national -- federation of teachers that.
They have no better friend in the White House than him is that what this is about.
Well if I were to grade the Romney campaign in their surrogates.
On this whole episode I grade him an F.
For substance and an a for effort.
The fact of the matter is the administration like other administrations is not gonna weigh in on a union dispute.
In a city or -- or state.
Rahm Emanuel has been running city running the city of Chicago in a way that.
He is making some tough budget decisions on the tequila is that the Scott -- I just think that's that's what you do when you govern -- -- an executive but skywalker if you.
Walker in Wisconsin if you ask.
Let me finish -- if you ask the AFT and the NEA the teachers' unions.
Where they believe this administration has been.
On their positions on their agenda you'll find some very interesting answers to that question they are not support of a blog the reform the administration's call for.
Tying teachers support to performance so this notion that there's this collaboration between the unions in the Obama administration is laughable.
Did you not watch your convention in Charlotte -- -- convention.
I -- -- all -- always you know they're starting up front side.
They are supporting the president as an alternative to Mitt Romney.
That doesn't mean they agree with everything is advancing but they would prefer him to Mitt Romney but -- I mean why why they supported the they do support the Obama.
The ironies are so thick here Chicago is the president's adoptive hometown.
His former chief of staff is the mayor his education secretary comes from there.
And yet right when 400000.
Students have no place to go because they're the teacher's union is on strike the president doesn't have an opinion on that.
-- -- I -- the fact of the matter is the way it works is you both know.
These unions and administrators in cities and then public -- this you know in its in the Scott worker case.
Come together when they have an issue over salaries and benefits and such and then negotiate their differences if they don't come to an agreement.
That the union has the option to go on strike out as what's going on that this isn't so this is.
I -- your -- a political football because were and presidential election it in about eight weeks but.
The reality on the ground is they're gonna have to come to an agreement and I predict -- will be sooner rather than later.
All right but isn't that Matt let me let me ask you this I mean does does this look like any need to a situation in which the union says off.
If we go on strike and we inconvenience these children and their parents we're not gonna take any heat from the Obama administration.
Well that's why the president has to speak this is his hometown this is the president who when there was an altercation.
In Cambridge Massachusetts between a cop and a professor.
He got so involved an issue that wasn't a -- -- they invited to the White House to have a beer with them.
These are teachers and kids in his home town.
And he's turning his back to -- for one reason it's not because this president doesn't believe in federalizing everything and pontificating on everything.
From the White House does and every day all the time.
It's because he knows that if he were to weigh in either has to make his former chief of staff look back.
Or yes to look like he doesn't care about the kids of Chicago in -- doing that because of money to his campaign.
Look it's a fair hit from the -- campaign and I give an app I get -- welding mile -- Halladay might pick her white house press corps was that asking Jay Carney about it yesterday -- and he's trying to stay neutral so he's senator.
Peter -- -- and match lap thank you both extra.