U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., responded to a pair of ads Monday in her push for a U.S. Senate seat.
Incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., recently distanced himself from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump while speaking Spanish.
Duckworth dismissed that ad.
“He can speak all the Spanish he wants, I speak four languages myself,” Duckworth said. “But it’s about where you are on the first day when the Senate is back in session in January. Are you gonna vote for Mitch McConnell and put Republicans back in leadership? Because if that’s what you do then you’ll never get comprehensive immigration reform.”
Kirk also recently ran a campaign ad that featured two former Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs employees who sued the state, claiming Duckworth wrongly fired them after they reported issues related to poor management.
“I believe she put her personal aspirations in front of the veterans’ care,” Christine Butler said in the ad.
“This is something that’s been thrown out of court three times,” said Duckworth, who was the department’s assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs from 2009 to 2011. “It was viewed a nuisance lawsuit.It shows the mark of desperation.”
Duckworth spokesman Matt McGrath went further, saying Kirk “cynically recruited” the former state employees for the ad. McGrath called for Kirk to pull the commercial.
Tony Arnold is WBEZ’s Illinois politics reporter. Follow him at @tonyjarnold.