Ahead of the Illinois primary, Rep. Tammy Duckworth on Monday criticized her potential opponent, Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., for saying he would support Donald Trump if he were the Republican presidential nominee.
In an interview last week with a local news station, Kirk was asked if he would support Trump if he became the GOP standard-bearer in November.
“If he is the nominee, I certainly would,” Kirk told the station.
At an event at Chicago’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum where she was receiving the support of various environmental groups, Duckworth hit Kirk for pledging to support the Republican front-runner.
“Our country needs leaders who both unify us, who will speak to our values and who will guide us to a better place,” Duckworth said. “We don’t need Donald Trump and Mark Kirk’s divisive rhetoric and their fear-mongering politics.
Duckworth noted that Kirk has also made what could be seen as insensitive remarks, such as calling fellow Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a “bro with no ho,” and while speaking about income inequality, saying he wanted to improve African-American communities so that they are not the ones “we drive faster” through.
“I’m not surprised he would endorse Donald Trump,” she said.
On Sunday at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Kirk commented about the violence that broke out in Chicago between protesters and Trump supporters at a cancelled event.
“Just breaks your heart to see people coming wanting to engage in political discourse and the event being shut down.” Kirk said. “Under our Constitution, the most protected speech is political speech.”
Kirk has previously criticized Trump, telling reporters in July he would tell him to “shut up ” in Spanish.
In the Illinois primary on Tuesday, Duckworth faces fellow Democrats former Chicago Urban League CEO and President Andrea Zopp and state Sen. Napoleon Harris.
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.