WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., stresses his opposition to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in a new spot aimed at Hispanics where he speaks Spanish to make clear, “Yo no apoyo a Trump.”
Kirk saying in Spanish “I do not support Trump” is an element in a 30-second ad to run on Telemundo and Univision beginning Wednesday.
Kirk is running against Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and his party’s presidential nominee, battling the “Trump Effect” where Trump’s unpopularity in states like Illinois may cause the defeat of down-ticket Republicans.
Kirk, seeking a second term, withdrew his backing for Trump in June after Trump attacked a federal judge born in Indiana, the son of Mexican immigrants, handling two fraud lawsuits against Trump University.
When Trump says “bad things” about immigrants, “I have spoken out against him,” Kirk said in the spot — “Ni puedo appear ni apoyar Donald Trump.”
Kirk also talks about how he has worked with Democrats to fight gang violence in Chicago and his support for immigration reform.
Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and signature call to build a wall on the U.S. southern border is a reason for his low polling numbers among Hispanics. According to exit polling, in 2014 Illinois Hispanics accounted for 6 percent of the statewide vote.
Kirk learned Spanish in 1979, when he was a student in a language immersion class at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, his campaign said.