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With RNC weeks away, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker ramps up attacks on Trump

With RNC weeks away, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker ramps up attacks on Trump
With RNC weeks away, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker ramps up attacks on Trump 02:25

CHICAGO (CBS) – As the presidential campaign season heads into a key stretch with both major party conventions in the coming months, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and former President Trump have continued to spar.

Pritzker had become perhaps the loudest and most colorful Trump critic in the Democratic party. Experts say the back-and-forth is likely to get louder with the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee just weeks away.

For political junkies, Wisconsin is as important a state as any in this campaign.

The RNC will be in Milwaukee next month. No swing state has tighter poll numbers than Wisconsin with Trump leading President Biden by one-tenth of a percent on average. The candidates campaign there a lot. The former president held an event in Racine on Tuesday.

Along the way, the former president has found a sparring partner who is not backing down just one state to the south in Illinois.

"Donald Trump is a convicted felon, an adjudicated rapist and a congenital liar," Pritzker said in a video posted to X on June 9 after Trump was convicted of 34 felony counts of falsification of business records in New York. "He's a racist, sexist, misogynistic narcissist who wants to use the levers of power to enrich himself and punish anyone who dares speak a word against him."

The governor's barbs against the former president have garnered attention.

"Takes some pretty good shots if you saw what he said after the verdict came in a couple weeks ago," said Pat Brady, the former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. "It was a brutal shot. It was effective and again, he gets into Trump's head pretty easily."

And Pritzker's punch led to a Trump tirade this past weekend.

"Sloppy JB Pritzker, the Rotund Governor from the once great State of Illinois, who makes Chris Christie look like a male model, and whose family wanted him out of the business because he was so pathetic at helping them run it, has presided over the destruction and disintegration of Illinois," Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social.

Pritzker then countered.

"Gosh, the convicted felon insulting me and Milwaukee in the same week. Is it because we are both hosting conventions full of people who can't stand him?" Pritzker said on X.

Brady said if a politician is set on taking on Trump, they'll have to do so "in a matter that may not be the most pleasant, but it may be the most effective." He credited Pritzker's defensive posture, one that Trump's 2016 opponents didn't take, which in the end, cost them.

"If you don't punch back, you're not being heard," Brady said. "To deal with Trump effectively, you have to punch back, otherwise he dominates the airwaves and he sucks oxygen out of the media world."

Brady said he expects Pritzker's jabs to get more pointed as he's primed to be the Democratic designate to counter Trump during the RNC next month.

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