Sen. Mark Kirk released a new television ad Wednesday that finds the Republican disavowing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in Spanish.
Kirk, who is facing a tough bid for re-election against Rep. Tammy Duckworth, is looking to attract Hispanic voters by distancing himself from Trump, who has made a series of divisive comments about the group throughout his campaign.
“When Donald Trump says bad things about immigrants, I have spoken out against him,” Kirk says in the ad, speaking in Spanish. “I don’t support Trump.”
Last June, Trump made an incendiary claim about Mexican immigrants during the announcement of his presidential candidacy, calling them “rapists” and saying they bring drugs and crime to America, NBC News reported.
In March, Kirk told NBC Chicago he would support Trump if he became the Republican presidential nominee, but pulled his tacit endorsement in June after the billionaire said the Mexican heritage of a federal judge presiding over civil fraud lawsuits against his beleaguered Trump University presented a potential conflict. Kirk called the comments “un-American.”
The senator’s new ad also finds Kirk highlighting his bipartisan efforts to combat gun violence and push comprehensive immigration reform.
“I’ve worked with Republicans and Democrats to reduce gang violence in Chicago and I support immigration reform,” Kirk says in the ad.
The 30-second spot will run on Univision and Telemundo until the end of the elections cycle. According to the Chicago Tribune, Univision reported the Kirk campaign has bought seven ads for this week at a cost of $3,175, but Telemundo hasn’t filed a spending report with the Federal Communications Commission.
Throughout his campaign, Kirk has worked to establish himself as an independent Republican voice, pushing for confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and slamming Trump.