Senator Kirk Raises Representative Duckworth’s Heritage in Debate
Via the Chicago Tribune: More aggressive Kirk goes after Duckworth in second debate, questions her family’s heritage
At one point, Duckworth talked about her family’s long history of involvement in the U.S. military, describing herself as a “daughter of the American Revolution” who has “bled for this nation.”
When it was Kirk’s turn to offer a rebuttal, he offered a single sentence: “I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”
There was an awkward pause, and the comment left some in the audience with a look of puzzlement.
Duckworth, who was born in Bangkok, Thailand, to a mother of Chinese heritage and a father of British descent, replied: “There’s been members of my family serving on my father’s side since the American Revolution.” She said she was “proud of both my father’s side and my mother’s side as an immigrant.”
Stay classy, Senator Kirk.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign had what I would consider an ironic statement on the event:
Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, took to Twitter for some payback against Kirk, who un-endorsed Trump this year and has called the former reality show star unfit to be president.
“The same Mark Kirk that unendorsed his party’s presidential nominee and called him out in paid ads? Gotcha. Good luck,” Conway posted on Twitter over an online publication’s tweeted headline “Senator Mark Kirk mocks disabled Iraq war vet Tammy Duckworth in debate for her mixed-race heritage.”
Really, who in the world would attack a veteran let alone use one’s heritage against them?
There is this:
Kirk, who is recovering from a major stroke suffered in late January 2012, made a series of controversial statements last year. The one that garnered much attention was his live mic reference during a Senate committee hearing of bachelor colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as a “bro with no ho.”
Following the controversial statements, some top Illinois Republicans were privately fretting about Kirk’s re-election bid in July 2015, but the GOP stuck by him. At the time, the Tribune reported, officials with the National Republican Senatorial Committee suggested that Kirk stay out of the media.
“It’s got to be a more controlled setting when he speaks publicly,” said one Republican political operative familiar with Kirk and the NRSC’s strategy back then. “I don’t think it takes away from anything that he’s trying to do. But he’s got to be less in the media. Everything should be about making your point and that’s that.”
If Senator Kirk has medical reasons that impede his public judgment, that is a bit concerning.