In a new campaign video released Monday, Rep. Tammy Duckworth slammed her opponent, Sen. Mark Kirk, for endorsing embattled former CIA Director David Petraeus for president.
Petraeus, a retired four-star general, pleaded guilty in 2015 to a charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information.
Petraeus provided the classified information to Paula Broadwell, his biographer. The two were also embroiled in an extra-marital affair. Petraeus received two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine after pleading guilty to the misdemeanor.
Duckworth’s video bounces through a series of news reports featuring FBI Director James Comey’s testimony about Petraeus and ends with Kirk’s endorsement of the former military leader.
"Ever since Republican Mark Kirk realized it was better politics to disavow Donald Trump than continue supporting him, he’s bizarrely encouraged Illinoisans to throw away their votes on a disgraced former CIA director who had his security clearance revoked after he intentionally leaked classified information to his mistress and lied about it to investigators,” Duckworth deputy campaign manager Matt McGrath said in a statement.
Kirk's campaign responded to the attack Monday afternoon, questioning Duckworth's judgment and pointing to her relationship with imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"When Rod Blagojevich was under federal investigation for giving jobs to his political cronies instead of deserving veterans, Duckworth not only defended Blagojevich but endorsed him for re-election," Kirk campaign spokesman Kevin Artl said in a statement. "Then, in order to advance her own career, Duckworth had Harry Reid lobby Blagojevich to appoint her to the U.S. Senate. Illinois voters are pretty clear on just how awful Duckworth's judgment has been during her political career."
During an interview on the Steve Cochran Show earlier this month, Kirk said he would write-in Petraeus instead of voting for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
In March, Kirk told NBC Chicago that he would support Trump if he were the Republican presidential nominee. Then in May, Kirk told USA Today that he would be willing to serve as a national security adviser to Trump.
Kirk pulled his backing of the divisive billionaire in June, after Trump made a series of inflammatory statements about the heritage of a Hispanic judge presiding over civil fraud lawsuits against his beleaguered Trump University.
The Duckworth campaign also faulted Kirk for endorsing Trump’s newly-announced running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, “even though Pence signed one of the country’s most discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws in Indiana and has a history of attacking women’s reproductive rights.”
“Pence did partner with Kirk in Congress to oppose the rescue of the American auto industry and to support the Ryan budget, which would raise taxes on the average middle-class family by $2,000 and turn Medicare into a voucher system in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy,” Democratic Party of Illinois spokesman Sean Savett said in a statement.