Just hours before chaos broke out at a postponed Donald Trump rally in Chicago, GOP Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said on Friday that he would support Trump’s candidacy for president if he turns out to be the Republican nominee, bucking a trend among his fellow Illinois Republicans who fear that aligning with Trump will cost them re-election.
Kirk hasn’t endorsed a presidential candidate and has previously attacked Trump. But when asked by a local NBC affiliate if he would support Trump should he be the GOP nominee, Kirk — who is in a tight re-election bid against Iraq war veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) — said yes. “If he was the nominee I certainly would.” Watch the clip:
The Chicago Tribune reported that Illinois Republican leaders “are expressing cautious concerns over how [Trump’s] nomination could affect GOP chances in the fall” and two GOP congressmen from Illinois — a traditionally Democratic state — have already said they would never support him.
While it’s unclear how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will handle the Trump issue, he has reportedly “laid out a plan that would have lawmakers break with Mr. Trump explicitly in a general election.”
“We’ll drop him like a hot rock,” McConnell said. Kirk, apparently, doesn’t feel the same way.