Bernie Sanders launches ads critical of Rahm Emanuel

Story highlights

  • Emanuel was a top official in former President Bill Clinton's administration and also served as President Barack Obama's first chief of staff
  • The ads feature local Chicago public figures who support Sanders and refer to corruption in politics in Chicago and criticize the political establishment

(CNN)Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders rolled out campaign ads in Illinois this week that are sharply critical of Chicago mayor -- and longtime Clinton ally -- Rahm Emanuel.

The ads announced on Thursday feature local Chicago public figures who support Sanders -- who is hosting a rally in Summit, Illinois, on Friday night -- and refer to corruption in politics in Chicago and criticize the political establishment.
    "The chief politician standing in the way of us getting good schools is our mayor. If you have a presidential candidate that supports someone like our mayor, you have a candidate who is not willing to take on the establishment," Troy LaRaviere, a Chicago public schools principal, says in the ad. "Bernie Sanders is definitely not afraid to take on the system. He looks beyond that system and sees better possibilities for us. He sees that this is not the way it has to be."
    Another ad features Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia, who challenged Emanuel when he ran for re-election.
    A third ad talks about the death of Laquan McDonald, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed by Chicago police in 2014. Video of his death was not released to the public until 13 months after the incident, and the handling of McDonald's death led to protests against Emanuel's administration.
    Emanuel was a top official in former President Bill Clinton's administration and also served as President Barack Obama's first chief of staff. In 2014, Emanuel announced his support for what was then a potential presidential campaign by Hillary Clinton.
    A spokesman for Emanuel said the mayor's office did not have any comment on the ads.
    In December, Sanders said he does not care about winning Emanuel's support in his bid to become the presidential nominee.
    "If the question is do I want or need Rahm Emanuel's support for president, with all due respect to the mayor, no, I don't," Sanders said then.
    Illinois' primary is on Tuesday.