I probably wouldn’t even know who Republican Senator Mark Kirk was were it not for the fact that he was the first major Republican politician to refuse to endorse Donald Trump. Kirk is facing a tough re-election campaign in Illinois, where the most recent poll has put Tammy Duckworth up by a whopping 14 points.
I can only assume that’s why Mark Kirk stooped to one of the lowest moments in politics this year by questioning his opponent’s American heritage during their debate last night. Here’s the awful, ugly and awkward moment:
“I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington,” he said.
This is a repugnant comment on its own, for the simple fact that Mark Kirk is attempting to define his opponent not by who she is but by how he wants white people to see her. It’s even more heinous when you consider the context: Tammy Duckworth was born in Bangkok to a mother of Chinese descent and an American father who was a marine and who could trace his roots in America to back before the Civil War. Oh, and Tammy Duckworth was the first female double amputee of the Iraq War. She lost her legs from injuries sustained when the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents. Duckworth was awarded the Purple Heart.
And Mark Kirk —who once lied in a speech on the House floor about his plane being shot at in Iraq — questioned her Americanness.
You know it’s bad when even Kellyanne Conway — the campaign manager for Donald Trump — is trying to take the high road.
The same Mark Kirk that unendorsed his party's presidential nominee and called him out in paid ads? Gotcha. Good luck. https://t.co/IV7miL317s— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 28, 2016