CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner, a highly successful money manager who grew up on the North Shore, has often surprised people with his folksy dropping of his g's — as in "talkin'" and "lookin'" and searchin'."
On Tuesday, he explained why he speaks that way.
In a video of an interview with WTTW tweeted by the governor's office, Rauner says, "Who says hunting? You say huntin.' You say fishin'. And when you're talking to your friends, you're going to a sportin' event. You talk how you talk."
The governor says, "I can get formal if I need to."
"But you know what's wonderful about my work? I get to wear clothes that I'm comfortable in as opposed to needin' to get dressed up like I had to in business. And I can talk...The people of Illinois are my friends," he says. "It's my privilege to work for them and I can just be myself. And it's very humbling."
In 2016, he was asked a similar question about his accent by Springfield political columnist Rich Miller. In a piece for Crain's Chicago Business, Miller wrote that the governor's dropping of his g's "does seem contrived."
"Rauner was educated at Ivy League schools, after all, and worked in some of the highest echelons of business. If you listen to any of his speeches in the years before he ran for governor, you'll notice that he talked back then like an educated Midwesterner," Miller wrote.
Miller said he asked Rauner, a multi-millionaire, why he "sounded like somebody attempting to imitate a hillbilly."
"That got a big laugh, particularly from Mrs. Rauner," Miller wrote, adding "Mrs. Rauner agreed that his public wardrobe has drastically deteriorated since election day, as has his grammar."