Sen. Kirk Under Fire for Debate Comment About Opponent Rep. Duckworth


Republican Senator Mark Kirk from Illinois is taking political heat this morning, even from members of his own party, after eyebrow-raising comments he made Thursday night during a televised debate.

His opponent in the state’s Senate race, Democratic congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, was born in Bangkok, Thailand.

An Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, she grew up in southeast Asia before her family moved to Hawaii. In 2004, she lost both her legs after a combat helicopter she was flying was hit by an RPG in Iraq.

During the debate, Duckworth was talking about her military service as well as a long history of military service in her family. She said, as she has many times on the campaign trail, that her family “has served this nation in uniform going back to the revolution.”

“I am a daughter of the American Revolution,” she added. “I have bled for this nation.”

Kirk replied, “I forgot that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”

Democrats around the country were quick to jump on Kirk’s remarks following the debate, calling them racist and demanding an apology.

Duckworth tweeted a family photo after the debate. Her father’s side of the family, she says, has a long history of serving in the U.S. military.

For more from ABC News, including video of the clip in question, click here.

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