Senator Draws Fire for Racially Charged Attack in Debate

Seth Perlman

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is under fire for a racially charged taunt uttered during a Thursday night debate with Democratic challenger Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).

In noting her desire to serve in the Senate and be a part of decisions to go to war, Duckworth noted her ancestors had been serving in the US military since the Revolutionary War. "My family has served this nation in uniform, going back to the Revolution. I'm a daughter of the American Revolution. I've bled for this nation. But I still want to be there in the Senate when the drums of war sound. Because people are quick to sound the drums of war, and I want to be there to say this is what it costs, this is what you're asking us to do. … Families like mine are the ones that bleed first."

Kirk responded: "I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."

Duckworth was born in Thailand to an American father and a Thai mother of Chinese descent. Duckworth lost both legs while serving as a combat helicopter pilot in Iraq.

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