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Braun criticizes Emanuel’s commercials

Carol Moseley Braun shares laugh with Dr. Cornel West as they speak crowd during get out vote rally held

Carol Moseley Braun shares a laugh with Dr. Cornel West as they speak to the crowd during a get out the vote rally held at the Parkway Ballroom on Febuary 13, 2011. l Keith Hale~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 31, 2011 4:47AM

Mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun compared opponent Rahm Emanuel’s TV commercials to a character in “The Producers” who believes Adolf Hitler was a kind man.

“The joke in it was, he was a kind man, a gentle man,” said Braun about comments in Mel Brooks’ satirical movie. “We are getting the kind man, the gentle man on television.”

In an interview after Braun made her remarks at Bronzeville’s Parkway Ballroom, she said was not trying to compare Emanuel, who is Jewish, to Hitler.

At the event, Braun picked up an endorsement from Princeton University professor Cornel West.

“The mayor should be fundamentally focused on the poor and working class and not obsessed with the elite and big business,” West said. “Chicago can be the new star in the struggle for democracy and freedom.”

Braun, a former U.S. senator, re-emphasized her belief that in the mayoral race there “is a lot of deceit and trickery going on.”

Meanwhile, Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, visited three South Side Churches — Grant AME Church, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church and Revival Tabernacle Church — where he talked with congregants about how he will tackle the city’s problems. In the afternoon, Emanuel dropped by a get-out-the-vote phone bank in Hyde Park.

Mayoral hopeful Gery Chico asked an auditorium full of enthusiastic supporters at Roberto Clemente High School to help him get out the vote on election day, now just nine days away.

“I need your help; I want you to call and e-mail everyone you know and tell them to vote,” said Chico.

City Clerk Miguel del Valle visited a radio station, a local business and St. Hyacinth Basilica.

Del Valle held a news conference criticizing Chico for not declining the endorsement of the Tea Party Patriots. The right-wing group gave Chico an unsolicited endorsement saying he was the best chance of stopping Emanuel from getting elected.

Chico’s campaign said he did not seek the endorsement, but was accepting endorsements from across the political spectrum to create a “broad coalition” to win the mayor’s race.

On Sunday, Braun also released an internal poll of 800 likely Chicago voters Sunday showing she has a reasonable chance of forcing front-runner Emanuel into a run-off.

While some recent polls have put Emanuel close to 50 percent and Braun as far down as 6 percent or fourth place, Braun’s internal poll shows her with 23 percent to 45 percent for Emanuel. Chico was running third with 16 percent.

Pollster Rod McCullough said African-Americans constitute 45 percent of the electorate in the city and other polls often undercount them. While some polls have shown Emanuel rivaling Braun for support among African-American voters, McCullough’s poll showed Braun beating Emanuel among African-American voters 44 percent to 32 percent and on the city’s South and West sides by similar margins.

Del Valle polled about 10 percent in the poll.

Contributing: Lewis Lazare, Abdon M. Pallasch and AP

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