CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave Rick Perry a Chicago-style greeting Monday, challenging the Texas governor to remember the reasons for his visit to Illinois — a jab at Perry's presidential debate forgetfulness.
"I hope when he comes he remembers all three of his reasons," Emanuel said. "Because it will be a real test for him."
Perry was in Illinois Monday to encourage businesses to move to Texas and was scheduled to address a Chicago business convention Tuesday.
Emanuel made pointed reference to a campaign gaffe Perry committed while running for president. At a Republican debate late in 2011, Perry said he had plans to eliminate three federal departments, but could remember only two.
Asked about Perry's visit at a Monday news conference, Emanuel used the opportunity to tout Chicago's infrastructure improvements and wealth of well-educated residents thanks to its universities, both of which he said were lacking in Texas.
He pointed to the 14 major businesses that have moved their headquarters to Chicago during his administration, and also drew attention to Texas' drought.
"In the City of Chicago, we don't have to measure our showers like they do in Texas," said Emanuel, a Democrat who served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff.
The Texas governor's office announced last week a $42,000 radio ad buy in Chicago, with another $38,000 in print ads at Crain's Chicago Business, touting the website texaswideopenforbusiness.com.
In the ad, Perry says, "I have a word of advice for employers frustrated by Illinois' short-sighted approach to business: you need to get out of there while there's still time."
Perry says "the escape route leads straight to Texas" and touts "limited government, low taxes and a pro-business environment."
He calls Texas an "emergency exit" for Illinois businesses.
After a similar effort earlier this year in California, that state's governor, Jerry Brown, called Perry's $26,000 ad buy there "not a burp ... it's barely a fart."
"If they want to get in the game, let them spend $25 million on radio and television," said Brown, according to the Sacramento Bee. "Then I'll take them seriously."
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn lashed back at Perry last week, telling reporters "We don't need any advice from Gov. Perry."
In an interview with Crain's last week, Perry said his message "isn't about bashing Illinois."
But, he said, "when you have the kind of tax and regulatory policies in place [that Illinois does] ... you are enticing businesses to fail."