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Oberweis reacts to Kirk’s Durbin comment

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014

* Sen. Mark Kirk, you will recall, said this the other day when asked whether he’d be campaigning for fellow Republican Jim Oberweis’ US Senate bid

“I’m going to be protecting my relationship with Dick [Durbin] and not launching into a partisan jihad that hurts our partnership to both pull together for Illinois”

* Oberweis reacts

“Look, Mark is a Republican senator. He’s said he’ll support the entire Republican ticket, and I accept that,” the Sugar Grove Republican told the Chicago Sun-Times during a brief break in the Illinois Senate.

“I think the media was trying to make a lot more out of this than exists,” Oberweis said.

Oberweis insisted he was not disappointed by Kirk publicly distancing himself from the state senator.

“Look, I serve here in the Illinois Senate, and I understand the desire to not irritate people that you’re going to have to work with in the future,” Oberweis said. “But again, I also emphasize he said he’ll support the entire Republican ticket.”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


36 Comments
  1. - John A Logan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    This is not surprising because Mark Kirk is not a republican. He stands in direct opposition to a number of core republican platform principles. My only wish is that Senator Kirk would switch parties, so that I don’t have to be periodically exposed to the charade.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    === “But again, I also emphasize he said he’ll support the entire Republican ticket.”===

    Days the Slytherin Republican who is intolerant of those not following, 100%, the Republican platform, unless they are “Good Republicans”, then…

    I want diversity, when I am the one on the “outside looking in”…lol

    Oberweis will be Sharron Angle before this is said and done, embarrassing that GOP ticket.

    Kirk is with you alright, alright. Just like you were with Pat Brady with pitchforks and torches…and ice cream. Pathetic.


  3. - Lord Stanley's Cup - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    I actually think Oberweis took the high ground nicely.


  4. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    Truthfully, given Kirk’s health related issues, it seems doubtful that he would be able to appear on the campaign trail for Oberweis or other GOP candidates. Kirk is working hard to fulfill his own duties. I really question if Kirk will seek reelection.


  5. - Stones - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    I’m sure even though Oberweis is downplaying Kirk’s snub he has to be seething inside. Kirk could have easily refused to comment on the election but he went out of his way to snub Oberweis to the point where it could be interpreted as a Durbin endorsement. I’m sure part of this is the personal friendship and connection between the two since Kirk’s stroke as much as his distaste for Oberweis.


  6. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    A very statesman-like response by Oberweis, to his credit. An example of his hard-acquired political maturity, and a good foretaste of the credit he will bring to Illinois as its next U.S. Senator.

    Oberweis doesn’t need Kirk to beat the U.S. military-disparaging, Obamacare-lying, cravenly partisan, lifetime payroller Dick Durbin.


  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    Obie can spin it however he wants, but it was a pretty surprising direct smack from Kirk.

    I doubt if you’ll see Rauner, JBT or Cross (I have no idea who the GOP A.G. and S.O.S. candidates are) campaigning with Obie, but they’ll be a little more circumspect in keeping their distance.


  8. - Obie Gone - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    I don’t like Obie in the least. But it’s amazing that he actually handled this better than Kirk.

    Just curious OW, what could he have possibly said better?


  9. - Union Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Jim can lose the race on his own! Dosen’t need Mark’s help.


  10. - Amuzing Myself - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    Surprisingly classy response by Oberweis, but, unfortunately, probably the high point of his campaign. He will be on his own again, because no one will want to hitch their political capital to him, he’ll lose again, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll go away forever.


  11. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    When a guy who’s not known for gracious remarks makes one that is untypically gracious, he deserves credit. It’s a one in a million moment when Jim O takes the high road and Mark K is guilty of making a foolish comment. Enjoy it while it lasts. Republicans are divided on Oberweis and on Kirk. They are unanimous in their disdain for Dick Durbin. Do the math. Might be good for 4-5 points in this election and 7-8 in Kirk’s next election. Just ask Senator Dillard how it plays when you publicly laud an opponent everyone in your party despises.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    ===Just curious OW, what could he have possibly said better?===

    Not one ounce of snark.

    Bruce Rauner.

    Self-funder, good age, fiscal conservative, social moderate, no record to run on..wealthy, social “exclusive club”

    Think Udall…

    You asked


  13. - Raising Kane - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Classy move by Obie.


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    ==Oberweis doesn’t need Kirk to beat the U.S. military-disparaging, Obamacare-lying, cravenly partisan, lifetime payroller Dick Durbin.==

    I’m curious, what color is the sky in Fantasyland?


  15. - Obie Gone - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    OW, I have no idea what you said. Perhaps it’s code for some people, but I truly don’t understand what you meant.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Apologies. How about I answer the question asked, huh?

    It’s about all you could expect from Oberweis.

    Probably his best handling of the press, maybe ever.

    I just see this also coming from someone who is on the SSC and was more about rigidness of platform and ousting, and being gracious now, it has me wondering where this Oberweis was when it counted to encourage an open tent ideal.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    ===Just curious OW, what could he have possibly said better?===

    Read as…

    “Just curious OW, WHO could he have possibly been better?”

    I am a Dope.


  18. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    ==This is not surprising because Mark Kirk is not a republican.==

    I love people who say who and who cannot be a Republican. You only damage the party further by making such nonsense statements. Are you a litmus tester? Anybody that doesn’t tow the line on 100% of the platform can’t be a member of the party? Some of you need to grow up.


  19. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    The media has been quite deferential to US Senator Mark Kirk. Sadly, he has suffered quite a bit from the affects of his stroke. There have been a number of occasions when he has said unfortunate things in public gatherings. It would have probably been wiser for Kirk to have chosen his words differently and made a milder statement.

    Oberweis is a long shot candidate. I rather doubt Kirk’s endorsement is going to be the deciding factor in a race where Durbin is the favorite.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    - Obie Gone -,

    Here. This is why I respond as I do;

    ===There have been a number of occasions when he has said unfortunate things in public gatherings. It would have probably been wiser for Kirk to have chosen his words differently and made a milder statement.===

    Ok. So the “left handed” slam of Kirk’s health completely ignores the multiple ousting of Pat Brady orchestrated by Oberweis as a legit reason for the Kirk statement, or seen in that light…

    … but make sure we all point to an “unwell” (snark) Mark Kirk as a possible reason.

    I respond to Kirk’s statement and then Oberweis’ response, through Oberweis’ past choices and not through excuses of Kirk’s well being.


  21. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    I’m starting to have a bit of respect for whoever this is pretending to be Oberwies.

    Still, he’s not going to win. And that’s a good thing.


  22. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    @Oswego Willy:

    I was not following up on your comments about Pat Brady.

    I supported Kirk in his past campaign for US Senate. In the past, I suspect that Kirk would have used more diplomatic language than he did when distancing himself from Oberweis. I expect that he would have taken the same position in relation to Oberweis, but his words would have been more measured.

    As hard as Kirk has worked on regaining his health, it is obvious that he is impaired. There have been episodes when he has had difficulty expressing himself.


  23. - shore - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    I said the other day this was not his best moment and coupled with the messaging snafu last week arguably his worst messaging run since comment he made at northwestern 8 years ago about profiling on planes.

    Having said that, he’s gotten more criticism in the media over this than Durbin’s had since the turn of the century. Every Kirk move is either characterized as a pander to Democrats or “another indication he’s a just a right wing washington Republican” and this is from the chicago media we read and love so dearly. It’s nice to constantly say what a mess the Illinois Republican party is but when your court of media opinion/4th estate reportage are journalists who live in the most democratic areas of the country up in the 312 it’s hard to get a fair shake on anything.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    - UFR -,

    No ill on my part, nor was I thinking it was in a response of counter.

    My point in taking that out was a “narrative” that seems to be used to put Sen. Kirk’s thoughts in a marginalized way, if those who get offended by the remarks can shift that discussion.

    It was more about the narrative than you, personally, choosing that narrative as a response to me. Much respect. All good, no ill felt here. Hope you see where I was going now, apologies for not clarifying.


  25. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Okay, I can’t believe Oberwies said these words. Give him a couple days to rethink them, he will say something utterly insane and ridiculous. Where is my Obie?


  26. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    @Oswego Willy,

    No harm, no foul.

    I must admit that I do spend some time wondering if Kirk will seek reelection or if he will announce his retirement when his current term ends? He is doing some fundraising now, but I am not certain if he could conduct a statewide campaign unless his health improves dramatically. Illinois is a huge state with 102 counties.


  27. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    I finally saw the clip of Kirk giving Durbin his blessing. It was pretty shocking and embarrassing. A big fat wet kiss - worse than Al and Tipper at the convention.

    Wow - Kirk lost it completely.

    Oberweis did good.
    Get this off the news by saying it has no controversy.

    Oberweis showed he could be a better senator than Kirk. When Oberweis can calmly demonstrate that he is not an extremist nut and has a mind that earned the millions it has and will, he doesn’t have to lose by 40 points to Durbin.

    Oberweis needs to keep his powder dry and then barrage Durbin with a vast carpet bomb ad campaign in October - which he could afford. He has the name recognition, and Durbin has a half century of skeletons to expose.


  28. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    John Kass published an article that Kirk has been calling Obie trying to “clarify” his remarks.


  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    I picture Kirk as Durbin’s lap dog, panting and yearning for Dick’s pat on the head


  30. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    I agree with Conservative Republican. Very “statesman-like” of Mr. Oberweis and an indication of how his public persona has developed over the years. Good for him.


  31. - I B Strapped - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    “I picture Kirk as Durbin’s lap dog, panting and yearning for Dick’s pat on the head”

    He is the only one in the Senate that does then!

    Sad for Illinois…..


  32. - shore - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Notion that Oberweis is statesman is ridiculous but my hope is that he unloads a few million of his buckaroos and maybe if things break badly for democrats over the summer he gets into the low 40s.

    With Kirk you need an opponent and I don’t see any yet. We’ve already seen what he can do to a statewide democratic officeholder and that’s when no one know who he was.


  33. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Is this statesman like from Oberweis? Sure, but it is but one example in a career of running for office littered with boneheaded arrogance. It is hardly evidence of a trend of maturity on his part. Let’s remember that only a few weeks ago this man jetted out of town the week before an election in a gross display of contempt for Illinois citizens.


  34. - Empty Suit - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    Actually pretty controlled for OB


  35. - Frosty-The Snowman - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    Some men “grow” as they mature. My thought is that Oberweis is possibly just such a man. I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I have known him since he first began his various political endeavors. I did not support Oberweis back then. My conscience wouldn’t let me. His political commercial (helicopter commercial on illegal immigrants)from many years ago was a terribly ill-advised suggestion by his staff. Oberweis should have pulled it the minute that he saw it but, unfortunately, he trusted in the advice of others.
    Today, Jim Oberweis is a much different man. I find myself looking at him in a much different light than back then. I will “now” support him when he runs in November. He has grown as a man and as a politician. He is a much better candidate today and, more importantly, he is a much better man.


  36. - Mokenavince - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 7:37 pm:

    Every one including Obie knows he’s done, Kirk was just stating the obvious .
    He will make a fair State Senator.


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