SPRINGFIELD - Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Kirk is getting heat nationwide Friday morning after an exchange with Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth Thursday night in which Kirk ridiculed Duckworth's assertion that her family's roots stem back to the Revolutionary War era.
Duckworth was born in Thailand, but her father was American - something Senator Kirk must not have known when the following exchange took place:
Tammy Duckworth: My family has served this nation in uniform back to the revolution. I am a daughter of the American Revolution. I've bled for this nation. But I still want to be there in the Senate when the drums of war sound because people are quick to sound the drums of war and I want to be there to say this is what it costs and this is what you're asking us to do. And if that's the case, I'll go. It's families like mine that bleed first. But let's make sure that the American people understand what we are engaging in and let's hold our allies accountable because we can't do it all.
Mark Kirk: I forgot that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.
Kirk's comment was followed with an awkward silence, and then the panel at the Sangamon County Convention Center moved to another question.
Before the debate, Kirk's chances of being re-elected were listed by FiveThirtyEight.com as being 8%, with Duckworth at 91%. By Friday morning, Kirk's chances dipped to 7.4%.
Senate Republicans are very concerned that they could lose the majority by losing five GOP seats November 8th.
The exchange is featured in several national news sources this morning, and liberals like Matt McDermott are referring to Kirk's comment as "racist."
Good lord: video of Kirk's racist comment to Tammy Duckworth even worst than the transcript. pic.twitter.com/ETLc6X11TK— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) October 28, 2016
And Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway showed little concern for Kirk's awkward comment: