Gov. Bruce Rauner says Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's use of a word disparaging to women was "inappropriate."
During a stop Friday in Vernon Hills, the Republican governor said he was aware of Sen. Kirk's comments.
"Inappropriate," he said. "My understanding is he has apologized. That is the right thing to do. And that's all I'm going to say about it."
Kirk, who's seeking re-election from Illinois in 2016, called fellow Republican senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham a "bro with no ho" in remarks caught on a live microphone while a Senate panel conducted a roll call vote in Washington.
Graham, 59, announced his presidential bid on June 1. His bachelorhood has stirred up questions about the role of first lady if he were elected president, to which Graham responded he might have a "rotating first lady," adding that the position might be filled by his sister or his friends.
Kirk also mentioned the "rotating first lady" remark on the live mic and said he had "been joking with Lindsey."
"Senator Kirk was joking with his colleague and immediately apologized to anyone offended by his remark," Kirk's press secretary told NBC Chicago following the incident.
Kirk, who was once married but has since been divorced, has no "first lady" himself. He is also running a re-election campaign of his own. The incumbent senator faces Democratic challengers Tammy Duckworth and Andrea Zopp in the 2016 race.