The Republican nominee for Illinois governor drew backlash Monday after urging people to “move on” quickly from the deadly mass shooting at a July 4 parade in Highland Park.
“Friends, let us pray for law enforcement and even the organizers of this parade. You’ve done a great job,” Senator Darren Bailey said during a Facebook livestream. “There is a lot of confusion and frustration that the parade was canceled but they did the right thing because people’s safety must come first.”
“The shooter is still at large. So let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and celebrate this nation’s independence,” continued Bailey, who had strong support for the theory from incumbent Governor JB Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association ahead of last month’s primary election that Bailey would be a weaker candidate for the general election.
The live stream was posted about two and a half hours after filming began – and while the person of interest, Robert Crimo III, was still at large.
Bailey later went back on his comments and apologized when it was shown to “lessen the pain” he felt across Illinois.
“My intention was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy, and that the shooter is caught and prosecuted without further casualties,” he said in a statement obtained by Business Insider.
“I apologize if in any way we have lessened the pain felt in our state today.”
Monday’s shooting in Highland Park, which killed six people and injured more than two dozen others, caused other July 4th celebrations to be canceled across the Chicago area — including in Skokie, where Bailey recorded the video statement.
During his call to “move on,” Bailey also reminded his audience of the Nov. 8 election, saying voters “must drive corruption and evil out of our government.”
“We must elect men and women with honor and courage to put this country and this state back on track,” he added.
Despite the quick walkback, Bailey was slammed on social media for his comments.
“That’s what happens with MAGA-type candidates. They were trained with ‘own the libs’.” wrote outgoing Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who also slammed Pritzker for supporting Bailey in the primary.
“Plus, Pritzker spent over $30 million to help this bad man win the GOP primary. Sick of this America?”
“Happy 4th of July from @DarrenBaileyIL Trump’s soulless nominee for Illinois governor,” Keith Olbermann, veteran sportswriter and political commentator tweeted. “After a mass shooting miles away, Bailey sums up the @GOP: ‘Let’s go ahead and celebrate this nation’s independence.’ To hell with him and everyone who supports him.”
“It’s a lot easier to understand terrible comments like this when you realize they’re all just really bad people.” said Tim Fullerton, a former campaign aide for former President Barack Obama.
Shannon Watts, founder of gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action, also weighed in. saying“Both sides are not the same: Darren Bailey, Republican gubernatorial candidate from Illinois, after the Illinoisans [sic] get shot in Highland Park saying, ‘Let’s go ahead and celebrate freedom.’ Let us. Move. On. And. Celebrate. Freedom.”
Pritzker is a big favorite for re-election in deep blue Illinois, where Democrats dominate Chicago and its densely populated suburbs.
https://nypost.com/2022/07/05/darren-bailey-ripped-after-highland-park-parade-shooting/ Darren Bailey tore after shooting at Highland Park parade