WASHINGTON ― Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) won’t say which presidential candidate he’s voting for, a curious move considering he’s now changed his mind about his endorsement four times.
Kirk, who is struggling in his Senate race against Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth, said months ago that he planned to write in former CIA Director David Petraeus for president. But in an interview with a Chicago radio station on Wednesday, he refused to confirm whether that was still his plan.
“I said that largely out of total frustration,” Kirk said. “The joke I’ve seen going around is, ‘If you had a rowboat and it sprung a leak with Hillary and Trump in it and it sank, who would win?’”
Asked if that means he doesn’t have a candidate he’s planning to vote for, the Republican senator replied, “I don’t at this point. Pretty frustrated by the choice that we have now.”
Kirk’s comments come after he’s endorsed ― and then un-endorsed ― different people for president four times. He originally backed GOP nominee Donald Trump, but announced in June that he couldn’t support him anymore and planned to write in Petraeus instead. In July, he changed his mind and said he planned to write in former Secretary of State Colin Powell. By mid-August, Kirk changed his mind again, and was back to endorsing Petraeus.
His latest position, which is that he has no candidate, comes less than two weeks before Election Day.
Asked for comment on Kirk’s changing positions, his campaign spokesman Kevin Artl had only this to say: “Give it up.”
Kirk isn’t the only GOP lawmaker in a tight race who is trying to escape Trump’s shadow. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) won’t say who he’s voting for, either. Senate hopeful Joe Heck (R-Nev.) said Tuesday that voters don’t have a right to know who he’s voting for. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) said he might not vote at all.
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