In a new campaign ad, Rep. Tammy Duckworth aims to tie Sen. Mark Kirk to Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.
Earlier this month, Kirk told NBC Chicago that he “certainly would” support Trump if he won the Republican presidential nomination. In addition to that statement, the ad intersperses some of the more incendiary claims Trump has made on the campaign trail.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said during the announcement of his campaign last June. “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.”
“In a typical Chicago way, to my Mexican-American friends, I would say, ‘Donald Trump callate’- shut up.”
The ad also features a clip of Trump denigrating Sen. John McCain’s military service last July.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump says. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, okay?”
“My friend [McCain] is a true #hero and a great American,” Kirk said.
Duckworth also showed support for McCain following Trump’s comments and called for an apology.
The ad features clips of Chicago’s canceled Trump rally that erupted in violence earlier this month. In addition to this, it features clips of Trump mocking reporters and questioning President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
“Trump and Kirk,” the ad’s final title cards read. “Making America Great?”
The Duckworth camp expounded on these concerns in a statement provided to Ward Room.
"A Donald Trump presidency is unthinkable to a vast majority of Illinoisans, who look upon his outrageous campaign with disgust- and yet that's exactly what Mark Kirk has pledged to support," Duckworth campaign spokesman Matt McGrath said. "Then again, Senator Kirk's long record of offending his constituents, particularly women and communities of color, fits neatly into the Trump mold."
The Kirk campaign called the ad a smokescreen to distract attention from Duckworth's proposed policy for Syrian refugees.
"Another false and desperate attempt by Rep. Duckworth to deflect from the fact that she seeks to allow 200,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, even though the FBI says they cannot be safely vetted and that ISIS is now using the refugee crisis to infiltrate countries," Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl said in a statement.
Duckworth defeated Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp and state Sen. Napoleon Harris to win the Democratic nomination for Kirk's U.S. Senate seat.
Kirk beat out Oswego businessman James Kirk in the Republican primary in his bid for reelection.