In an attempt to staunch weeks of bad press concerning his family's troubled business, Alexi Giannoulias rhetorically attacked his opponent during a luncheon speech today, arguing that Congressman Mark Kirk was campaigning solely on the problems of Broadway Bank.
"Congressman Kirk has failed the people of Illinois," Giannoulias said to a packed lunchroom at Maggiano's, where observers listened but did not applaud. "He's campaigned on one thing only -- Broadway Bank. Just about every sentence Kirk utters is a noun and a verb and Broadway Bank."
Giannoulias also said the attacks on the bank were akin to attacks on his family.
"When I decided to run I knew it wouldn't be easy, but putting your family in the line of fire is another thing...I am running for the U.S. Senate because I wake up every single morning worrying about Illinois' future."
Giannoulias' speech comes as early polls show him trailing Congressman Kirk by several points.
Asked whether he would step down if Broadway Bank fails, Giannoulias said "that will never happen."
Giannoulias also said it wasn't fair to criticize him or Broadway Bank for loans to citizens of ill-repute.
"If I knew then what I know now, these aren't the kind of people that we want to do business with, and it's an unfair and it's an offensive characterization of Broadway Bank's customers [as a whole]," he said.