But Rauner also wanted to be clear that he isn't like other wealthy Republicans associated with governor's mansions. He said he's nothing like former Massachusetts Gov. and presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R).
"I am a very different person than Mitt Romney: I drink beer, I smoke a cigar, I use a gun, I ride a Harley," Rauner said in the same interview. "I get a crowd going to a standing ovation, I never saw him do that."
Romney did, however, get crowds going to standing ovations on occasion, like at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
A former top Romney 2012 campaign official scoffed at Rauner's comments.
"I don’t know what cave Bruce was stuck in during 2012, but of the 60+ million people who voted for Mitt Romney, tens of thousands would regularly show up to stand and cheer at our rallies," the official told TPM.
Most polling has shown Rauner as the frontrunner in the Republican gubernatorial primary. A recent Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows Rauner with 36 percent followed by state Sen. Kirk Dillard with 23 percent and state Sen. Bill Brady with 18 percent and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford with 9 percent.
This post was updated.