Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk said Tuesday that he “cannot and will not support” Donald Trump.
In a statement released by Kirk’s re-election campaign, the senator said of the presumptive GOP nominee, “As the presidential campaign progressed, I was hoping the rhetoric would tone down and reflect a campaign that was inclusive, thoughtful and principled.”
“While I oppose the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump’s latest statements, in context with past attacks on Hispanics, women and the disabled like me, make it certain that I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for President, regardless of the political impact on my candidacy or the Republican Party,” Kirk added.
The lawmaker was referring to the candidate’s assertion that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel cannot give the Trump University case a fair hearing because he is of Mexican descent. Trump has pledged to build a wall on the U.S./Mexican border as a means of stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.
“I have spent my life building bridges and tearing down barriers — not building walls,” Kirk said. “That’s why I find Donald Trump’s belief that an American-born judge of Mexican descent is incapable of fairly presiding over his case is not only dead wrong, it is un-American.”
Adopting Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s talking points from her foreign policy speech last Thursday, Kirk said, “It is absolutely essential that we are guided by a commander-in-chief with a responsible and proper temperament, discretion and judgment. Our President must be fit to command the most powerful military the world has ever seen, including an arsenal of thousands of nuclear weapons.”
Given my military experience, Donald Trump does not have the temperament to command our military or our nuclear arsenal.
— Mark Kirk (@MarkKirk) June 7, 2016
Kirk is in a tight re-election race in a majority Democrat state, facing a challenge from Illinois congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. The most recent polling gives Duckworth a three-point lead (approximately 43 to 40 percent).
h/t: The Hill