While Casten calls Trump 'dangerous,' Ives supports the president
While Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten has called Donald Trump "the most dangerous president we have ever known," Republican congressional challenger Jeanne Ives is voicing support for Trump's reelection.
Casten, who's seeking a second term representing Illinois' 6th Congressional District in the West and Northwest suburbs, bashed Trump in a candidate survey for the Daily Herald and in a recent debate with Ives.
"He has put his own self-interests above the office he holds and the American people we serve," said Casten, a Downers Grove resident who's backing fellow Democrat Joe Biden's bid for the White House.
Ives, of Wheaton, wants Trump to have four more years in the Oval Office.
"Love him or hate him, Trump never forgot who put him in office and never forgot the plans (he promised)," Ives said during that debate with Casten, which was hosted last weekend by WBBM 780-AM and 105.9-FM and Crain's Chicago Business. "He cut regulations, (which) allowed the economy to flourish and job numbers to rise. He rebuilt our military, which is really important to me, and he nominated conservatives to the Supreme Court."
Ives, who unsuccessfully challenged then-Gov. Bruce Rauner from the political right in the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary, is a U.S. Military Academy graduate and an Army veteran.
Casten, the former president and CEO of an energy recycling company, said he ran for Congress in 2018 because he objected to Trump's rejection of scientific evidence and intolerance of "anybody who doesn't look like him."
Casten's objections to Trump don't end there. In December, Casten voted for both articles of impeachment against Trump.
"The Constitution explicitly includes impeachment as a final check against those who would wield executive power in the service of 'treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,'" Casten said at the time. "These abuses of power are exactly what President Trump committed when he withheld military aid to an ally to pressure a foreign government to investigate a political rival and then systematically obstructed Congress' ability to learn the truth of his actions."
Although critical of Trump, Casten pointed out that the president's actions have led to "mass mobilization" by people who don't share his values.
"From the global women's marches that followed his election ... to the massive protests in support of Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump has mobilized Americans across the country," Casten said.
That surge in civic awareness and action has left Casten feeling somewhat optimistic about the country.
"We will get past this," Casten said.
Ives endorsed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for president during the 2016 primary season, but she's now a Trump booster.
But Ives -- whose congressional bid has been endorsed by Cruz -- has disapproved of some of the president's actions, too.
For example, Ives has said she doesn't like how Trump has responded to some of his detractors, saying he should have taken a higher road in many cases.
And in the recent radio debate, Ives said she disagrees with Trump's approval of unbalanced budgets and large spending bills.
When asked about Casten calling Trump dangerous, Ives wouldn't comment.
The 6th District includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. Libertarian candidate Bill Redpath of West Dundee also is running.