Keyes, who has said his Republican candidacy in the Democratic stronghold would be controversial, criticized Daley's political machine during an address Tuesday to the non-partisan Civic Federation.
"We have a future, but we're not going to be allowed to get to that future because a troll is sitting under a bridge, saying 'I eat first,' " Keyes said.
Keyes said Daley's insistence on a multi-billion-dollar expansion of O'Hare International Airport has kept the state from moving forward to ease airport congestion in the Chicago area. Keyes favors development of a third regional airport.
Daley chuckled when told of Keyes remarks, commenting Keyes is a newcomer to Illinois from Maryland who probably thinks O'Hare is on the South Side.
O'Hare is northwest of the city, but it is operated by the Chicago Department of Aviation.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]