U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) released a new TV ad Thursday in which he attacks presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
"Mark Kirk bucked his party to say Donald Trump is not fit to be commander in chief," a narrator says in the ad titled, "Even More."
Overall, the TV spot, set to run in Chicago, showcases the "independent" side of Kirk, touting him as being "a leader on protecting a woman's right to choose" and the first Republican senator to call for a vote on President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
"As the partisanship and gridlock in Washington intensifies, Senator Kirk remains an independent-minded, reform-driven solution seeker," Kirk's campaign manager Kevin Artl said in a statement. "Senator Kirk continues to put partisanship aside to to find common sense solutions for the people of Illinois."
Check out the ad:
The ad doesn't mention U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8), who is vying to unseat Kirk.
Matt McGrath, Duckworth's deputy campaign manager, responded to the ad by saying Kirk's "not being straight with Illinois voters."
"Republican Senator Mark Kirk has lied for years about his military record, falsely claiming to have served in combat and claiming an award he never earned, and now he's not being straight with Illinois voters by portraying himself as a liberal Democrat in Chicago while apparently hoping no one else across the state notices," McGrath said. "You can always count on two things from Kirk: dishonesty and crude political calculation, and this ad has an abundance of both."
The ad was released as news surfaced that lawsuit settlement discussions may be underway in a workplace retaliation case against Duckworth dating back to when she led the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. A lawsuit was brought against Duckworth by two Veterans Affairs' employees who claimed she retaliated against them for speaking out against a shared supervisor. Last month, a judge allowed the case, which has been dismissed twice, to go to trial.
Duckworth is also coming under scrutiny from Republicans this week over a $5.2 million contract for veterans outreach that was approved during her time as the former assistant secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Right-leaning media outlets reported Wednesday on a inspector general report from 2014, which found that the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs "could not demonstrate that contract activities resulted in increased awareness of and access to VA healthcare, benefits, and services for veterans."