One of the most vulnerable Republican senators is now using his opposition to his party’s presumptive nominee Donald Trump to encourage voters to support his re-election bid.
In a new TV ad out Thursday, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) touted his opinion that Trump was “not fit to be commander in chief” as proof of his “courageous and independent” record in office.
While Kirk previously said he would “absolutely” support his party’s nominee, Trump’s attacks on the “Mexican” heritage of a federal judge prompted the Illinois senator to release a statement saying he “cannot and will not support” the billionaire businessman.
The ad also highlighted Kirk’s position as the first Republican to call for a vote on President Barack Obama’s pick to fill the Supreme Court vacancy and touts his record as a “leader on protecting a woman’s right to choose.”
The senator spent $230,000 on broadcast time for the weeklong ad buy and another $35,520 for cable TV time in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.
His Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), has repeatedly linked Kirk to his party’s mercurial nominee.
Watch the ad below: