Phil Ponce on Chuy García ‘Gang’ Questions: ‘I Blew It’

Apr 2, 2015
8:37 AM

After facing intense critcism for a series of questions he made towards Chicago mayoral candidate Chuy García Tuesday night during a “Chicago Tonight” candidates debate, WTTW Phil Ponce admitted to columnist John Kass of The Chicago Tribune the he messed up.

Here is the lengthy quote Kass published in his column today from a phone conversation he had with Ponce yesterday:

I crossed the line. As I think of it, there is no nexus between being a good parent and having a good kid.

You can be a great parent and have lousy kids. Or you can be a terrible parent and have great kids. And the skill set in being a parent are not the same as being a mayor. You can be a great parent and a terrible mayor, and you can be a terrible parent and a great mayor.

So in retrospect I think that question was off the mark and that I blew it on that one.

Ponce’s mea culpa came just hours many thought that Ponce’s questions about García’s son were uncalled for.

Kass also shared a quote from García, who said the following about the debate and Ponce’s questions:

I went to the debate hoping to talk about at least 15 or 20 subjects. I wanted to talk about violence in the streets. I wanted to talk about staffing levels in the Chicago Police Department. I wanted to talk about community policing, about how we mobilize Chicagoans to re-assume their role in safer communities, and I was disappointed because we didn’t have a chance to do that.

The Chicago mayoral election is April 7. In late February, García earned enough votes to force a runoff against incumbent Rahm Emanuel.