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Duckworth: Kirk ‘unhinged’ for calling Obama ‘drug dealer’

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who's running against incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, spoke to the City Club of Chicago Tuesday afternoon. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Rep. Tammy Duckworth on Tuesday called Sen. Mark Kirk “unhinged” for his comments criticizing President Obama as “acting like the drug dealer in chief.”

In a speech to the City Club, Duckworth said Kirk’s comments–a reference to the Obama Administration’s $400 million cash payment to Iran–are part of a pattern of “irresponsible, offensive rhetoric.”

Duckworth, the Democratic nominee seeking to unseat Kirk, called on him to apologize for what she called his latest gaffe, saying it was “beyond the pale.”

“If you look at all the things that he’s said, I think he lacks the ability to control what he’s saying,” Duckworth told reporters afterward in defense of her use of the word “unhinged.”

“I do think he’s unhinged,” she said.

Kirk was addressing the Springfield Journal-Register editorial board last week when he criticized the Iran payment, made in bundles of cash, which he has characterized as a ransom to free three American prisoners.

“We can’t have the President of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief,” he reportedly said.

Kirk’s campaign has defended the statement.

This is a developing story. Check for details.