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*** UPDATED x1 - Video of remarks *** Kirk goes mum on presidential preference

Monday, Aug 15, 2016

* Sen. Mark Kirk has burned himself twice by announcing he’d be writing in a presidential preference rather than voting for anyone who is actually on the ballot. And now he’s refusing to talk about the subject at all

Kirk yanked his endorsement of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in June, saying he would write in former CIA director and retired U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information. Last month, Kirk said he was switching his write-in vote to Colin Powell, saying the former secretary of state and retired Army general was “much more experienced at the national level.”

But last week, in denouncing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s support of the multinational deal aimed at curbing Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons, Kirk told CNN he “can’t support someone who is for the Iran agreement.” Powell, however, supported the Iran agreement.

“Don’t really need to discuss my write-in choice because it’s not that important, it’s not going to swing the election at all,” Kirk said. […]

“My job is to make sure that if it’s Clinton or it’s Trump that we have the strongest representative possible in the Senate,” Kirk said.

Whenever candidates refuse to talk about something they can always be assured of getting more reporter questions about that very topic.

And it was a silly move in the first place because, as Kirk himself was eventually forced to admit, write-in votes aren’t counted in Illinois for people who are not officially registered as candidates.

*** UPDATE ***  The Duckworth campaign passed along the exchange…

REPORTER: Senator, you had mentioned that you would not support anybody who supported the Iran deal and Colin Powell, who is your write-in choice, did support the Iran deal.

KIRK: My job is to make sure, if it’s Clinton or it’s Trump, that we have the strongest representative possible that’s in the Senate.

REPORTER: So it’s more playing a defensive posture about whoever is President is what it comes down to?

KIRK: And we’re sending someone who is the best representative for the state of Illinois. And, instead of Tammy Duckworth, who really represents Chicagoland. For me, cause I was born downstate, and will travel downstate, so the rest of the state needs a Senator too.

REPORTER: So do you have a new write-in choice for President?

KIRK: I think we will, uh, we’ll just, uh, make sure, uh, go with whoever’s best. Don’t really need to discuss my write-in choice because it’s not that important. It’s not going to swing the election at all.

* Video

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    This has been campaign and candidate malpractice since jump street.

    Geez, Louise, how difficult is it to say…

    “No Trump, never Trump, not for this Republican, not in Illinois, and not FOR America”

    Reporter: So who do you support? Who will you vote for?

    “Not Donald Trump. That’s all you really need to know”

    … that is what shoulda happened weeks and weeks ago.

    How pathetic and rank amateur has it been with Kirk not realizing how ridiculous he sounds, and the “Kirk Krew” continually trying to weasel a way to say something that amounts to nothing.

    Embarrasingly amateurish.

  2. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    Kirk is right, his vote for president doesn’t matter. I’m more concerned about his vote for Majority Leader in January. If he said he wasn’t going to support Mitch McConnell, I think that’d help him more in Illinois than this ridiculous write-in nonsense.

  3. - Whatever - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    The irony is that Kirk and Trump share a lot in common. They are both gaffe-machines who shoot from the hip, don’t listen to advisors, and refuse to run professional campaigns. I’m surprised Kirk isn’t all in for the Donald!

  4. - BigDoggie - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    The next intelligent thing Kirk says will be the first in a long time.

  5. - michel - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    this is a debate about nothing. he’s taken the stand he’s not supporting either trump or clinton. anything else is immaterial

  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:25 am:

    ===this is a debate about nothing. he’s taken the stand he’s not supporting either trump or clinton. anything else is immaterial===

    Nah. If Kirk keeps talking about it and making ridiculous gaffes, it matters.

  7. - Anon III - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    47 Wd. == Kirk is right, his vote for president doesn’t matter. ==

    Does anyone think Illinois is a “toss-up state”?

    Every electoral map I have seen puts Illinois in the “solid for Clinton” column. Illinois is a Blue State, and will vote for Mrs. Clinton.

    So Kirk, O.W., and everybody else can vote for Trump or Johnson or Stein, and it won’t matter in Illinois.

  8. - Chicago_Downstater - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    @Anon III

    I don’t think the story really has very much to do with the Presidential election. It’s more about the “toss-up” Senate Race in Illinois.

    To the post, both Kirk and Duckworth are running shockingly mistake-ridden campaigns in a very tight race. It’s like the Senate Race of Errors out there. Interesting, but irritating.

  9. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 10:55 am:

    Cripes! Just endorse McMullin or Johnson already! Geez!

  10. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    What a maroon.

  11. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    ===Nah. If Kirk keeps talking about it and making ridiculous gaffes, it matters.===

    If Kirk was gaffe-proof, this would be a fairly easy decision for an independent voter.

    Duckworth is a loyal D vote on everything; I haven’t seen (m)any accomplishments by her in Congress or in her appointed positions. Unimpressive. And her rash firing of the whistleblower, rather than following the union contract for progressive discipline, is quite disturbing.

    Kirk, on the other hand, crosses party lines more often than most (any?) republican senator. But the gaffes do matter, and make this one a tough choice.

  12. - pundent - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 12:00 pm:

    =So Kirk, O.W., and everybody else can vote for Trump or Johnson or Stein, and it won’t matter in Illinois.=

    Of course it won’t change the outcome, that’s not the point here. Kirk has staked out the position that Trump is not fit to lead. As OW said, that’s it, end of the discussion. Unfortunately Kirk for some reason felt compelled to specifically identify two individuals that he would consider fit to lead. And now he’s forced himself to answer questions on why he put those names out there. It was an entirely unforced error on his part.

  13. - Biography - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    Kirk has lost it.

  14. - The Fool On The Hill - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 1:15 pm:

    A real Profile in Courage that Mark Kirk!

  15. - Been there, done that - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 1:18 pm:

    …..”will travel downstate”….. Oh, that is rich! I don’t think Kirk has been seen downstate since 2010 and that was only so he could con everyone into believing that if they would just trust him and hold their noses this one time and vote for him, he would represent “everyone” in the “entire” state - he lied.

  16. - HRC2016 - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    Do you think the GOP/Rauner party can get Kirk to step down and let Gov Rauner run for the Senate seat?

  17. - Sue - Monday, Aug 15, 16 @ 3:30 pm:

    Maybe we can bring back the one person most responsible for Obama being elected to both the Senate and WH- remember Keyes

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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