It looks like the dominoes are starting to fall.
Following much consternation, and tons of condemnation but nothing else, it looks like at least one Republican is putting his money where his mouth is. Not content to go the Paul Ryan way — rebuke but still support — Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) released a statement on Tuesday declaring that he can no longer support Donald Trump for President. This, of course, comes after days of the Republican nominee attacking Judge Gonzalo Curiel over his Mexican heritage.
Below is the statement:
“I have spent my life building bridges and tearing down barriers–not building walls. That’s why I find Donald Trump’s belief that an American-born judge of Mexican descent is incapable of fairly presiding over his case is not only dead wrong, it is un-American.
As the Presidential campaign progressed, I was hoping the rhetoric would tone down and reflect a campaign that was inclusive, thoughtful and principled. While I oppose the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump’s latest statements, in context with past attacks on Hispanics, women and the disabled like me, make it certain that I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for President regardless of the political impact on my candidacy or the Republican Party.
It is absolutely essential that we are guided by a commander-in-chief with a responsible and proper temperament, discretion and judgment. Our President must be fit to command the most powerful military the world has ever seen, including an arsenal of thousands of nuclear weapons. After much consideration, I have concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world.”
Earlier in the day, Iowa State Senator David Johnson actually left the Republican Party over Trump’s comments, comparing Trump to Hitler and calling his actions a “judicial jihad.”
Kirk’s un-endorsement comes on the heels of a number of conservative pundits, along with fellow Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), calling for members of the party to distance themselves from the Orange One in the wake of his blatantly racist attacks. Currently, Kirk is one of the most endangered members of the Senate, as he’s looking at an uphill fight for re-election in deep blue Illinois against the popular Tammy Duckworth.