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Oberweis on Kirk snub: Gets not wanting to 'irritate people'

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis held fire Tuesday against Illinois’ junior senator, Mark Kirk, and blamed the media for ginning up Kirk’s refusal to campaign with Oberweis in order to “protect” his relationship with Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.

“Look, Mark is a Republican senator. He’s said he’ll support the entire Republican ticket, and I accept that,” the Sugar Grove Republican told the Chicago Sun-Times during a brief break in the Illinois Senate.

“I think the media was trying to make a lot more out of this than exists,” Oberweis said.

Oberweis insisted he was not disappointed by Kirk publicly distancing himself from the state senator.

“Look, I serve here in the Illinois Senate, and I understand the desire to not irritate people that you’re going to have to work with in the future,” Oberweis said. “But again, I also emphasize he said he’ll support the entire Republican ticket.”

On Monday, Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet reported that Kirk was ruling out any work on behalf of Oberweis, who defeated Doug Truax last week in the Republican U.S. Senate primary and now faces Durbin in the fall.

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Please enable Javascript to watch this video“I’m going to be protecting my relationship with Dick and not launching into a partisan jihad that hurts our partnership to both pull together for Illinois,” Kirk said.

Kirk also said the winning formula for Illinois Republicans is to be moderate on social issues, but Oberweis disagreed Tuesday.

“This election is not about social issues,” Oberweis said. “This election is about who knows how to get the economy moving faster again, who knows how to help create jobs for people. That’s what it’s about.”