U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., took a beating at an Emily’s List event Monday in Chicago, where he was labeled “a bro with no votes.”
The reference came in the lead-up to keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who is running against Kirk in the 2016 election.
Duckworth called on Kirk to personally apologize for his remark made last week in which he made reference to presidential candidate Lindsey Graham as a “bro with no ho.” The comment was caught on a hot microphone.
“As a woman, as a wife, as a mom of a baby girl, I’m personally incredibly offended. I think every woman in Illinois needs to hear an apology from Senator Kirk personally,” Duckworth said, adding that Kirk’s reference to “this is what we say on the South Side” was equally offensive.
“This is not the first time he’s made callous, racially insensitive remarks. And he owes a personal apology not just to the south siders but to everyone who’s offended by racial stereotypes,” she said.
After the event, Duckworth called a statement from Kirk’s office last week a non-apology.
“I just don’t think it’s an appropriate way for a United States senator to speak,” Duckworth said. “What about to all the women he referred to as ho’s, which I assume refers to all women. … I think as a United States senator, step up, and apologize. It’s that simple. … I think it’s a continued demeaning of women and our roles. It’s really derogatory.”
When Duckworth was introduced at the event, Emily’sList President Stephanie Schriock said Duckworth was headed to the senate to make Kirk: “A bro with no votes.”
Duckworth was asked about a case that’s underway in Central Illinois involving a complaint filed when Duckworth was the head of Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.The Illinois Republican Party on Monday released a statement pointing to an ongoing lawsuit filed in 2009 that accuses Duckworth of wrongfully firing one employee and threatening and intimidating another. Duckworth said she could not comment directly on the case because it is a pending legal issue. She said she has not been subpoenaed in the case.
“Let me tell you, veterans are my life’s work. I will be working on veterans’ issues for the rest of my life,” Duckworth said.”Anytime folks are not doing right by veterans, I will do what I think is right to protect our vets even under threats of lawsuits.”