Tariffs, taxes and Trump questions converge at Rauner's Itasca campaign stop

Gov. Bruce Rauner toured an Itasca manufacturer to talk term limits and taxes Thursday but was dogged with questions about President Donald Trump.

Both Republicans were on the campaign trail - Trump in downstate Granite City and Rauner with appearances across Illinois.

The governor called W.S. Darley & Co., which makes fire trucks and related equipment such as pumps, the type of business he was fighting for.

"Every challenge we have gets overcome by economic growth," Rauner said. "Every challenge that we have we will solve by helping great companies like Darley invest in growth."

He criticized his Democratic opponent, hotel heir J.B. Pritzker, and House Speaker Michael Madigan as "insiders."

"They thrive on higher taxes. And they love corruption ... they have their cronies and their patronage and they hire their brother-in-law," Rauner said.

Pritzker in a statement slammed Rauner for staying silent on Trump policies "that have and will continue to hurt Illinoisans."

Rauner did not take reporters' questions on why he didn't accompany Trump or a question on potential patronage at the Illinois tollway, where GOP House Leader Jim Durkin's sister-in-law, a former furniture sales executive, was hired as an engineering manager.

Rauner has opposed Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Europe and Asia, an issue that is hitting home at Darley and Co., which uses an aluminum byproduct.

"We don't use many products manufactured outside the U.S., but a lot of our vendors do and they're now imposing their own surcharges on us," company President Paul Darley said.

Those range from 8 percent to 10 percent and as high as 30 percent in one case, he said.

"On the flip side, we ship a lot into China. We're having issues shipping products into China where they're trying to impose new duties on our products ... (like) fire trucks."

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  Paul Darley, president of W.S. Darley & Co., listens as Gov. Bruce Rauner talks about taxes during a visit to the 110-year-old Itasca company that makes fire trucks. Mark Black/
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