Kirk, Duckworth Square Off One Final Time In Late Night Debate | WBEZ
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Kirk, Duckworth Square Off One Final Time In Late Night Debate

In the final debate for Illinois’ U.S. Senate seat before Tuesday’s election, incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park, started his opening remarks by thanking his Democratic opponent for accepting his apology regarding controversial comments he made at the previous debate. 

Last week, Kirk said he’d forgotten that U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s parents “came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington” after Duckworth mentioned that a member of her family had served in the U.S. military since the American Revolution. Kirk’s comment went viral, and he was asked about it again Friday night.

“I am absolutely not a racist,” Kirk said when asked about the reaction people have had to the comments.

Moderators at ABC 7 Chicago also asked the candidates, who have both criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, how they would work with Trump’s administration if he were to win the White House.

“Given his personality I’d probably have a lousy relationship with him. I don’t expect him to win,” Kirk said. Kirk has repeatedly said he won’t vote for Trump, and has called for Trump to drop out of the race.

Duckworth had a very different response, saying she’d start off by assuming that Donald Trump loves the country just like she does.

“I will work with Donald Trump when his policies are for the good of the country, when they make sense and they’re logical but I’m not going to be someone who’s going to say I’m going to oppose everybody at every step of the way because we already have that and it’s not working for the people of Illinois or the people of this great nation,” Duckworth said.

Lauren Chooljian covers city politics for WBEZ. Follow her @laurenchooljian.

Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him @tonyjarnold.

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