Mark Kirk Drops $800,000 on Campaign’s First Ad Buy

by Elaina Plott

Senator Mark Kirk (R-Il.) launched his campaign’s first ad buy of 2016 on Wednesday, hitting Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Il.) on issues of national security.

Kirk’s team will drop more than $800,000 on the statewide television spot, which attacks his presumptive general election opponent on calling for the U.S. to take in 200,000 Syrian refugees. “ISIS used fake Syrian passports to commit the horrific Paris attacks. Now we know they’re printing thousands more,” the ad begins. “Still, Tammy Duckworth supports bringing 200,000 Syrian refugees to America.

“Mark Kirk is leading the fight to stop refugees until it can be done safely,” the narrator closes.

The spot comes three weeks before the primary, and represents the Kirk campaign’s concerted effort to thread the needle on national security and defense. In the last two weeks, Kirk has called Duckworth a “naïve fool” for her suggestions that politicians spark the radicalization of American Muslims. On Monday, he penned an op-ed for NRO reiterating that charge.    

A campaign narrative centered on national security helps Kirk promote his conservative credentials, a valuable asset given that he sometimes comes under fire for having few: the Senator was one of a few of lawmakers to break with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s call to block consideration of Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, arguing a duty to ‘Constitution’ over ‘party.’

Watch Kirk’s full ad below:

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