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Mark Kirk, Tammy Duckworth keep up the "unhinged" debate at ag forum in Normal
Last week, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk told the editorial board of The State Journal-Register in Springfield that he believed President Barack Obama had acted like the “drug dealer in chief” in the Iran nuclear deal.
The remark was widely criticized by Democrats, most notably U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Hoffman Estates, who is challenging Kirk for his Senate seat.
In a speech Tuesday at the City Club of Chicago, Duckworth said Kirk’s remark was “beneath the dignity of the office he now holds” and said Kirk should apologize.
“If you look at all of the things he’s said, I think that he lacks the ability to control what he’s saying and you can look at the numerous gaffes he’s had over the years,” Duckworth said. “I do think he’s unhinged.”
Duckworth’s statement that Kirk can’t control what he says seemed to hint that Duckworth believes the stroke Kirk suffered in January 2012 impairs his ability as a senator. Duckworth, however, said that is “the furthest thing people should look at. People should look at the fact that he’s been ineffective as a senator.”
When Kirk and Duckworth both appeared, separately, a day later at the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable in Normal, Kirk’s statement and Duckworth’s “unhinged” comment both were hot topics of discussion. Duckworth stood by her “unhinged” statement.
Kirk upbraided Duckworth for insulting all recovering stroke victims.
A year ago, former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady set off a firestorm among state GOP leadership when he voiced his personal support for same-sex marriage. Fallout from that episode…
Matthew Dietrich is editor of Reboot Illinois. Dietrich is the former editorial page editor of the State Journal Register in Springfield, where he earned awards including being named 2011 editorial writer of the year by GateHouse Media. His 25-year newspaper career included reporting at the Hudson Dispatch in Union City, N.J., the New York Post and The Capital Times of Madison, Wis. A graduate of Saint Louis University who holds a masters degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dietrich lives in Springfield with his wife and four children and splits time between Springfield and Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at@MattReboot. For perspective on Dietrich's thoughts on Illinois government, read his take on the leadership vacuum that sent Illinois sinking. Follow him on Twitter at @rebootillinois.