- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a first-term Illinois Republican whose seat is key for his party in the 2016 election, has raised questions in recent months with a number of public gaffes. This week, a prominent GOP fundraiser suggested that Kirk step aside for another Republican in the election, then quickly recanted the idea.

Among Kirk’s brow-raising statements:

-Last month, on an open microphone at a hearing, Kirk said presidential hopeful and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is a “bro with no ho” because he is unmarried. “That’s what we’d say on (Chicago’s) South Side,” Kirk said. He later apologized for “inappropriate remarks.”

-This month, his questions during a Senate hearing suggested he thought the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was collecting personal data on Supreme Court justices and members of Congress.

-On WRKO-AM radio in Boston this month, he referred to the president as “Barack Hussein Obama,” using his full name as many detractors do, and claimed Obama wanted to “get nukes to Iran” as part of a nuclear-control deal the Obama administration negotiated. At a news conference later, Kirk said he got “too carried away” with his opposition to the deal.

-Last winter, he called for placing “a number of coffins” outside Democrats’ offices if the Department of Homeland Security shut down in a budget dispute and terrorists attacked.

-In an April interview, he said he wanted the government to help black entrepreneurs, spur “a class of African-American billionaires” and make changes “so that the black community is not the one we drive faster through.”


Source: Associated Press, Peoria Journal Star, Crain’s Chicago business, other news reports.

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