Kirk: Obama Could Be a "One-Termer"

Rallies troops over health care while Dems remain undecided

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    U.S. Congressman Mark Kirk greets the crowd in Wheeling, Ill. as he accepts the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. Senate seat, on Tuesday Feb. 2, 2010.

    Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk predicted that Barack Obama could be a one-and-done president, according to an audio recording of a speech he made last Friday in Winnetka, Politico reports.

    "We are on the way to making this guy a one-termer," Kirk is heard saying.

    The GOP candidate wants to be known as Mr. Independent but told the friendly crowd that with a Republican president, the GOP may be able to repeal health care legislation before much of it goes into effect, the site reported.

    "The Congressman's remarks reflect the concerns of many Americans that the current health care bill would chart an unsustainable fiscal course for our country resulting in higher debt, more taxes and fewer jobs," said Kirk spokesman Eric Elk.  "Voters in Illinois understand the stakes in this election and have a clear choice to change direction, create jobs and clean up corruption.  Congressman Kirk brings a record of fighting for jobs and reform while Alexi Giannoulias brings a record of mismanagement of public funds and risky banking practices."

    Giannoulias, Kirk's opponent in the race for the U.S. Senate Seat that will be vacated by Sen. Roland Burris, supports health care reform.

    "Perhaps Kirk has forgotten Obama enjoys a 60 percent approval rating in Illinois," Giannoulias campaign spokesman Kathleen Strand said.

    But not all Illinois Democrats are on board.

    Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-4th District) says he's a "no" when it comes to health care because it ignores hardworking immigrants.

    "I would find it extremely difficult if not impossible to vote for any measure that denies undocumented workers health care purchased with their own dollars," Gutierrez said in a statement released late Tuesday.

    The phones in Gutierrez's Capitol Hill office are slammed as the health care vote looms later this week.

    Congressman Dan Lipinski and Debbie Halvorson have also not yet publicly endorsed the House's health care reform bill.

    Hundreds of protestors marched outside Rep. Melissa Bean's Schaumburg office Tuesday.  Bean has also not yet aligned with the president.

    Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in Chicago on Tuesday, said she is confident the legislation will pass.