WASHINGTON – Political commentator Chuck Todd drew attention Wednesday afternoon when he reported on MSNBC that he's been told at least one Republican senator is planning to endorse Hillary Clinton if the GOP continues its path nominating businessman Donald Trump for president.
"No," Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl told Illinois Review when asked if the Illinois junior senator was considering making the move Todd reported.
Kirk is facing a Republican challenger in the March 15th GOP primary, and the winner will face the winner of the Democrat primary next November. During his first term as Illinois' U.S. Senator, Kirk has departed from the Republican side of the aisle on several occasions to support Democratic legislative efforts.
“I heard real, real speculation today from very informed people that at least one Republican Senate incumbent, if given the choice, might publicly endorse Hillary Clinton,” Chuck Todd told his audience. “There’s at least one that I’ve heard could end up doing that, making that choice.
Todd added that such an endorsement would come, “not because they want to, but because they need to send that message.”
“Look, there’s a bunch of them running for re-election in blue states. That’s what’s going on here.”
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Mark Kirk is vulnerable anyway but if he wins the GOP nomination he will be even more vulnerable if Trump is at the top of the ticket dragging down all Republicans with him. The latest CNN match up poll shows Hillary beating Trump by 5 points and the Democrats are only getting warmed up. The supporters of Trump inside the GOP primaries do not care about his high negatives but in a general election they hurt in two ways including turning off independents and depressing GOP turnout among Republicans who cannot stand Trump.
Kirk must be conflicted having to choose between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. I’ve known better weasels that were more decisive. Take a stand, Mark.