NORMAL, Ill. -- The U.S Senate candidates were in Normal, Illinois Wednesday speaking to farmers on the topic of agriculture. Mark Kirk and Tammy Duckworth spoke separately, this was not a debate. But the candidates went after each other.
The challenger Duckworth spoke first, saying, about the U.S. accepting more Syrian refugees, “When the UN High Commission on Refugees selects these people, they enter into a minimum 18 month long vetting process. By the time they get through that process and they get here, they have been so thoroughly vetted that we know who they are.”
But Senator Kirk says that’s not true.
“ She directly lied to this group by saying that the Syrian refugees are thoroughly vetted even though the Director of National Intelligence and FBI say there’s no screening that’s meaningful at all,” he said. “We can’t lie to the American people like that, it could lead to another 911.”
The campaigns also again mixed it up over remarks Sen. Kirk made about the Obama administration’s cash payment to Iran.
Sen. Kirk told the State Journal-Register editorial board:
"We can't have the president of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief…. giving clean packs of money to a ... state sponsor of terror."
Congresswoman Duckworth responded saying, “I just don’t think that’s language befitting a United States Senator.”
The White House also weighed in.
“There's a temptation particularly for those politicians that are on the ballot to say outrageous things to try to get attention,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Asked about his comments, Sen. Kirk did not back down.
“My opponent called me unhinged for referring to the drug dealer practice and I would say it’s unhinged to send $400 million cash to terrorists,” he said.
The unhinged comment by Duckworth is drawing a lot of attention. Some say it’s reference to Mark Kirk’s stroke. Kirk says that Duckworth is desperate.