Sen. Mark Kirk called on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to drop out of the race following the release of a “hot mic” interview from 2005 that found the billionaire using vulgar, sexually charged language.
In a radio interview on Monday, Kirk referred to Trump as a “malignant clown” and called on Republican National Committee leadership to find a new candidate.
In June, Kirk pulled his tacit endorsement of Trump after the fellow Republican made offensive statements about the heritage of a Hispanic judge presiding over civil fraud lawsuits against his beleaguered Trump University. At the time, Kirk called Trump’s statements “un-American.”
In this case, Kirk said Trump chalking his comments up to “locker room talk” wasn’t an adequate response.
“It’s not enough because I think it reveals who he really is and we shouldn’t elect such a misogynistic candidate to the presidency,” the senator said.
During the interview, Kirk noted that some GOP leaders have already criticized Trump for his caught-on-tape comments. He added, “I think I was the first to call for him to step down.”
Perhaps most importantly, Kirk predicted that Trump’s presence on the ballot could adversely affect down-ticket Republicans.
“The Trump disaster could cost us the Senate and House,” Kirk claimed.
Nevertheless, the senator said he wouldn't "get into hypotheticals” about the Republican Party replacing Trump and claimed he didn’t have a replacement in mind for the real estate magnate. Kirk claimed Republicans “will likely figure out what’s going on and they will figure out we’ve nominated the wrong guy.”
Kirk pressed to remove Trump from the ballot, despite that fact that early voting has already started.
“When you’ve got a candidate this flawed you probably should get a better one,” the senator said.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Trump slammed Kirk’s reelection campaign last week, prior to the release of the controversial “Trump tapes."
During a town-hall style event in New Hampshire last Thursday, the presidential nominee claimed Kirk is “not doing so well” in his reelection bid against Rep. Tammy Duckworth.
“That’s his problem,” Trump said.
Trump also faulted Kirk for releasing a campaign ad that disavowed the Republican nominee.
“Are you sure he’s a Republican,” Trump asked. “Maybe he’s a Democrat?”
Last month, Kirk released a Spanish-language television ad distancing himself from Trump.
“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."