Sen. Mark Kirk condemned an ad campaign paid for by a Democratic Political Action Committee that accuses him of "unprecedented obstructionism" and "putting politics over people" in the wake of the debate surrounding the recent Supreme Court vacancy.
The ad is seemingly in response to Kirk's somewhat delayed decision to support moving forward with confirmation hearings to replace recently-deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. A tweet from the Senate Majority PAC sharing the ad referenced a Chicago Sun-Times editorial from earlier this month that claimed Kirk was "busily calculating the political fallout" and had "failed to take any kind of stand" on the matter.
Kirk broke with Republican lawmakers Monday to support moving forward with the process to nominate and confirm a new Supreme Court justice under President Barack Obama.
The Senate Majority PAC was originally organized in 2010 by aides and advisors to Sen. Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada. According to their website, the PAC is "fighting to take back the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate."
The Kirk campaign claims Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic frontrunner in the race for his Senate seat, has ties to the PAC.
"Cong. Duckworth needs to immediately demand that the false ads her Washington allies are running be taken down," Kirk's campaign manager, Kevin Artl, said in a statement. "If Cong. Duckworth is unwilling to buck Harry Reid and the SuperPacs that are supporting her campaign, then there is no chance that Illinois voters can trust her to fight for them in the United States Senate."
Duckworth's campaign manager, Matt McGrath, claims the campaign had no involvement in the ad.
“By law, we have nothing to do with the actions of an independent expenditure, but while Sen. Kirk is on a truth-in-advertising kick, he ought to take down his latest ad, which doesn’t tell the truth about Tammy Duckworth and repeats attacks that independent fact-checkers have called ‘bogus,’ ‘exaggerated,’ and something for which Kirk ’should be ashamed,'" McGrath told Ward Room.
Kirk released a campaign ad slamming Duckworth’s plan to bring 200,000 refugees to the country. The ad claims ISIS used fake Syrian passports to stage the attack on Paris and that the terrorist group continues to print these passports. The ad also highlights 15 terror-related incidents involving refugees.Earlier this month, Duckworth implored Kirk to make his stance known on the matter.
“Senator Mark Kirk must immediately level with the people of Illinois, and let us know whether he supports the Constitution,” Duckworth said in a statement. “Or if he’ll be a rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist and unconstitutional gambit.”
Kirk penned a Sun-Times op-ed Monday, announcing his decision to support moving forward with the process to nominate and confirm a new Supreme Court justice, referrencing to his obligation to honor the Constitution as the reason for his decision.
"As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve and as a United States senator, I swore an oath to protect and uphold the constitution," he wrote. "That oath is to our constitution, not to a party or any one individual, but to the ideals that bind our nation. I recognize the right of the president, be it Republican or Democrat, to place before the Senate a nominee for the Supreme Court and I fully expect and look forward to President Barack Obama advancing a nominee for the Senate to consider."
Following Kirk's announcement, Duckworth took to Twitter, claiming Kirk is "doing the right thing."
Duckworth will face Urban League CEO & President Andrea Zopp and state Sen. Napoleon Harris in the March 15 Democratic primary.
Kirk will face Oswego businessman James Marter in the March 15 Republican primary.