U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says it's "disappointing" two groups have withdrawn endorsements. He's trying to fight off a challenge from Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth.
Kirk was a rare Republican to receive recommendations from the Human Rights Campaign, which supports gay rights, and a gun control group led by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
Both pulled their endorsements after Kirk made a wisecrack minimizing the Duckworth family legacy of military service; many critics immediately condemned it as racist.
"Those organizations tend to be pretty supportive of the Democratic Party,” Kirk said. "I'm sure the DNC brought pressure to bear, and that was effective. So kinda disappointing to me because I have a great record on supporting gay rights and marriage equality.”
In an interview with public radio, Kirk says he apologized to Duckworth, and she accepted, and that it's now time to focus on the issues.