As an Illinois resident and political wonk I am watching the Senate race to fill Barack Obama’s former seat closely. It is a painful process to say the least. Yesterday Illinois’ Republican nominee Mark Kirk has finally stopped running from the press and agreed to hold a press conference to explain away various statements he had made, such as:
- “I was the Navy’s Intelligence Officer of the Year.”
- “In my role in the military, I command the war room in the Pentagon.”
- “As you may know, I am a veteran of the Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom missions.”
- “The last time I was in Iraq I was in uniform, flying at 20,000 feet and the Iraqi Air Defense Network was shooting at us.”
- “Last year, I was with a Dutch armor unit in Kandahar, getting shot at.”
You see here is the problem, all of these statements have been proven to be untrue. But Kirk’s only explanation for what some might describe as blatant lies was to say that he “wasn’t thinking,” and that he was “careless” when he made the remarks (some more than once both in writing and verbally).
Update: Via Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post:
In just the past 48 hours, the Illinois Senate race between state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R) has turned very nasty.
Kirk started the mudslinging with two ads that charge—among other things—that Giannoulias “made risky loans to convicted mobsters”. Giannoulias quickly struck back with a 60-second a detailing Kirk’s repeated misrepresentations of his own military record.(Watch these ads. They are brutal— in a good way.)