Rauner’s reluctant embrace of Trump a re-election tightrope

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was campaigning against states regulating student-loan lenders when she called her friend Gov. Bruce Rauner in August 2017.

Two weeks later, Republican Rauner vetoed legislation creating protections for students taking federal loans . It requires companies that administer the programs to tell borrowers about their rights and repayment options. Rauner says it “encroaches on the federal government’s responsibilities.”

Lawmakers reversed the veto. But the phone call exemplifies Rauner’s interaction with President Donald Trump’s administration at the same time he tries to distance himself from an unpopular GOP president in Democratic Illinois while running for re-election.

Rauner almost never mentions Trump’s name. But he has praised administration officials and taken Trump-friendly legislative stands.

Rauner spokeswoman Patty Schuh says Rauner works with Trump “when it’s good and right for Illinois.”

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