This video clip is from tonight's debate between U.S. Rep Tammy Duckworth and incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. Duckworth is hoping to unseat Kirk, who is the junior senator from Illinois.
I was shocked by Kirk's response at 30 seconds into the clip. I voted for Kirk, a moderate Republican, in 2010, but I will vote for Duckworth this year. That's isn't because of Kirk's comment. I'd already made up my mind, but I still think well of Kirk, so I don't know what to make of his comment. It was awful and beneath him.
Some background: Kirk was a Navy Reserve intelligence officer who retired as a commander in 2014. In 2012, Kirk suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed and without speech. After a long, difficult recovery, he was able to return to work in the Senate.
Duckworth retired in 2014 as a lt. colonel in the National Guard Reserve. In 2004, a Black Hawk she was piloting was shot down in Iraq. She lost both legs and suffered severe damage to one arm. Duckworth, was born in Bangkok to a Chinese-Thai mother and an American father who had several ancestors who served in the American Revolution. Her father was a Marine Corps veteran who worked for the U.N. Because of her father's work, Tammy was raised in Asia until age 16, at which time her family moved to Hawaii.
It's possible that impairments related to the Kirk's stroke might have something to due with his disturbing remark, though I can't say for sure. Whatever the case, it was troubling to hear this from someone I've always thought well of. I hope he apologizes.
I've heard from people in the know, and it sounds like that last paragraph is pretty much the explanation.