Kirk Hits Back at Chicago Tribune in Op-Ed

Newspaper had cited his stroke as reason for not endorsing Illinois senator

Illinois Sen. Mark S. Kirk pushed back after the Chicago Tribune cited his health in their endorsement of his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Duckworth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Illinois Sen. Mark S. Kirk has responded to the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board that cited his stroke as a reason not to endorse him last week.

The Tribune chose to endorse the Republican senator's opponent, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth. While the editorial said Kirk's 2012 stroke was not disqualifying, “we cannot tiptoe around the issue of Kirk’s recovery and readiness.”

In his op-ed for the newspaper, published Wednesday, Kirk said the Tribune sought to “sucker punch” him.

“It would be comparable to the Pulitzer Prize Board judging the ability and skills of reporters solely on the financial solvency of the paper they write for,” he wrote. 

Kirk highlighted his support for same-sex marriage and the Export-Import Bank, and his rescinding of his endorsement of Donald Trump in June. He admitted that he can’t run, jump or swim as well as he could before his stroke, but said he is proud of his results.

“And that’s all we stroke survivors can hope for — don’t judge us by our disability, judge us by our abilities,” Kirk wrote. “We are not handicapped, we are handicapable.”

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democratic

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