Republican Sen. Mark Kirk reverses Donald Trump endorsement

Robin Opsahl, City Editor

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said he “cannot and will not” support Donald Trump’s campaign for president, despite previously standing behind the presumptive nominee.

“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 said in a statement released Tuesday.

The renouncement came after Trump said a federal judge was not able to fairly oversee the legal case on Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.

Kirk, who’s currently running against Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), previously said he would support Trump for president, in hopes that the campaign’s rhetoric would eventually “tone down and reflect a campaign that was inclusive, thoughtful and principled.” However, Trump’s latest remarks have made Kirk reverse his stance.

“It is absolutely essential that we are guided by a commander-in-chief with a responsible and proper temperament, discretion and judgment,” Kirk said in the statement Tuesday. “After much consideration, I have concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world.”

Duckworth’s campaign criticized how long Kirk tolerated Trump’s rhetoric throughout the campaign season.

“What took so long?” Duckworth’s campaign manager Matt McGrath said in a statement. “Apparently for Mark Kirk, it’s acceptable to refer to Mexicans as rapists; to propose banning Muslims from entering the country; to call women fat pigs and dogs; to mock a reporter’s disability; and to insult just about everyone who doesn’t look like Donald Trump.”

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