Kirk on Trump: He should step down, or GOP should replace him
Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk said in a tweeted response to the tape recorded in 2005 of Donald Trump talking lewdly about women that the Republican party should seek to replace Trump as the Republican presidential candidate.
Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a conversation caught on a hot microphone, saying that "when you're a star, they let you do it," according to a video obtained by The Washington Post. He and "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush were on a bus on their way for Trump's guest appearance on the soap opera "Days of our Lives."
"DJT is a malignant clown -- unprepared and unfit to be president of the United States," Kirk tweeted.
He later tweeted: ".@realDonaldTrump should drop out. @GOP should engage rules for emergency replacement."
On Thursday, Trump said at a rally that Kirk is "not doing so well" in his re-election bid against Democratic congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. He added, dismissively: "That's his problem."
Duckworth also tweeted a response to Trump's remarks from her campaign account: "Yet another example of @realdonaldtrump's disrespect toward women. Yet another reason he is unfit for the presidency."
The Republican party can't replace Trump on the presidential ticket, the Washington Post reports. More than 34,000 Republican voters have already cast their ballots for the 2016 general election, according to the U.S. Election Project, 8,000 of them in the battleground state of North Carolina and another 5,000 in Florida. It's likely that most of the votes were for Trump, making it far too late for the party to dump Trump, the Post said.
Kirk and Trump have a history this year of not getting along, particularly after Kirk declared in June he wouldn't endorse Trump for president. In July, Kirk was among the three senators in Trump's crosshairs in a tense meeting among Trump and lawmakers, the Post reported.
The private meeting with Senate Republicans grew combative as the presumptive presidential nominee admonished the three senators who have been critical of his candidacy and predicted they would lose their re-election bids.
Trump called Kirk, one of the more vulnerable GOP incumbents, a loser. Kirk, who wasn't in the meeting, fired back at Trump later, according to The Associated Press.
"We haven't seen a personality like his too much in the Midwest. Eastern, privileged, wealthy bully," said Kirk, who faces a tough re-election contest against Duckworth and who withdrew his endorsement of Trump because of the business mogul's racially based attacks on a federal judge.
"I think I'm not on the Christmas card list now," Kirk later said.
In between his two tweets Friday on Trump, Kirk tweeted about the Cubs: "Let's go @Cubs -- hoping to start this series off flying the W." Duckworth similarly tweeted earlier Friday from her congresswoman account: "Go, @Cubs, Go! Let's #FlyTheW tonight!"