'Elevator speech' remains sore spot with Kennedy
Chris Kennedy does not appear to be a man who seeks the spotlight, as he coped with the GOP’s new digital ad linking him to House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) by eluding the topic — both on tape and afterward.
The Republican Party aired a video exposing the potential Illinois gubernatorial candidate’s hesitancy, capturing a moment during this year’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia when Kennedy waved off reporters who approached him about his possible candidacy.
“Have some decency,” Kennedy told journalists before exiting an elevator and using a stairwell to leave the area. “What have you become?”
When queried after the incident, Kennedy admitted to awkwardness, but swiftly eluded anymore mention of his abrupt response.
"I'll admit, my elevator speech needed a little work, but we've made great progress since last summer," Kennedy said via email. "Too bad the same can't be said for Illinois. It's nice to see Gov. [Bruce] Rauner worried about someone besides himself for the first time in two years."
The Republican Party’s online spot implies that businessman Kennedy, who operates a nonprofit based in Chicago, may not be entirely committed to following in the footsteps of eminent family members, including his father, Robert Kennedy, who was a U.S. senator, and his uncle, the late President John F. Kennedy.
“Chris Kennedy’s dodge isn’t going to cut it,” Illinois Republican Party spokesman Steven Yaffe said. “Mike Madigan endorsed Kennedy as an ‘excellent candidate’ for governor, and in return, Kennedy funneled tens of thousands of dollars to Madigan candidates and political groups. It's time for Chris Kennedy to come clean. Does Kennedy endorse or oppose Mike Madigan as speaker and head of the Democratic Party of Illinois?"