An Illinois GOP senator sniped at his Democratic opponent's heritage during a debate

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Republican Sen. Mark Kirk sniped at his Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth by questioning her family's heritage.

Duckworth was sharing a story about her family's military service record during an Illinois debate Thursday night.

"My family has served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution. I am a daughter of the American Revolution," Duckworth said. "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."

Related: Most and least like US senators

21 PHOTOS
Top most and least liked U.S. Senators
See Gallery
Top most and least liked U.S. Senators
Least Liked

10. Richard Durbin, Illinois

Disapprove: 38% 
Approve: 41%
No opinion: 21%

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Least Liked

9. Claire McCaskill, Missouri

Disapprove: 38% 
Approve: 46%
No opinion: 16%

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Least Liked

8. Joe Manchin, West Virginia

Disapprove: 38% 
Approve: 54%
No opinion: 7%

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Least Liked

7. David Vitter, Louisiana

Disapprove: 39% 
Approve: 42%
No opinion: 20%

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Least Liked

6. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

Disapprove: 40% 
Approve: 45%
No opinion: 16%

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Least Liked

5. Marco Rubio, Florida

Disapprove: 41% 
Approve: 46%
No opinion: 13%

(Photo credit MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Least Liked

4. John McCain, Arizona

Disapprove: 42% 
Approve: 48%
No opinion: 9%

(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Least Liked

3. Pat Roberts, Kansas

Disapprove: 43% 
Approve: 40%
No opinion: 17%

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Least Liked

2. Harry Reid, Nevada

Disapprove: 43% 
Approve: 44%
No opinion: 17%

(Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Least Liked

1. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky

Disapprove: 51% 
Approve: 39%
No opinion: 10%

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Most Liked

10. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota

Approve: 63%
Disapprove: 24%
No opinion: 13%

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Most Liked

9. Angus King, Maine

Approve: 63%
Disapprove: 26%
No opinion: 11%

(Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Most Liked

8. Brian Schatz, Hawaii

Approve: 64%
Disapprove: 13%
No opinion: 23%

(AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Most Liked

7. Charles Schumer, New York

Approve: 64%
Disapprove: 23%
No opinion: 13%

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Most Liked

6. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska

Approve: 65%
Disapprove: 26%
No opinion: 9%

(AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)

Most Liked

5. Thomas Carper, Delaware

Approve: 66%
Disapprove: 18%
No opinion: 16%

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Most Liked

4. Patrick Leahy, Vermont

Approve: 66%
Disapprove: 24%
No opinion: 10%

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Most Liked

3. John Thune, South Dakota

Approve: 68%
Disapprove: 17%
No opinion: 15%

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Most Liked

2. Susan Collins, Maine

Approve: 69%
Disapprove: 21%
No opinion: 11%

(Photo by John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Most Liked

1. Bernie Sanders, Vermont

Approve: 87%
Disapprove: 12%
No opinion: 1%

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

"And if that's the case, I'll go. It's the families like mine that bleed first," Duckworth continued. "But let's make sure that the American people understand what we are engaging in and let's hold our allies accountable because we can't do it all."

Kirk rebutted, "I'd forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."

Awkward silence followed his rebuttal — Duckworth didn't respond to Kirk — and the moderator moved onto the next question.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly bashed Kirk for his comments, saying his attack on Duckworth's family was "offensive, wrong and racist."

Duckworth's mother is Thai, but her family on her father's side has roots in America.

Watch the exchange below:

More from Business Insider:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners