Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was in Quincy, Ill. Thursday raising money for Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk--again telling supporters that Kirk could be the Scott Brown of Illinois.
While McConnell was not shy about bashing President Obama at the Illinois event--Kirk was pretty shy about announcing McConnell's support to the media.
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Kirk left the fundraiser headlined by McConnell off his official agenda, and that's not all. From the Sun-Times:
The campaign sent out advisories about Kirk's "Quincy Agenda" which this blogged [sic] posted in full. But the fund-raiser that Kirk held in Quincy--reported by the Quincy News was not disclosed. I specifically asked Kirk staff on Tuesday about Kirk's upcoming fund-raising plans on, so its not for lack of trying.
It's hard to say why Kirk kept McConnell's visit quiet, but since his campaign has been scandalized by military embellishments and other resume inaccuracies, he has been keeping somewhat of a low profile.
McConnell, however, showed no interest in hiding his opinions Thursday, saying that Kirk winning the U.S. Senate seat for Illinois would allow the Republican party to block President Obama's agenda. QuincyNews.org reports:
"It takes 60 votes to do most things. To the extent that you send Mark Kirk to our team and we get up well north of 45 (senators), we could turn the President into a born-again moderate."
He also said that people are no longer happy with President Obama--which might play well in Kentucky, but not so much in Illinois, where Obama holds a 54 percent approval rating.
"The American people decided to take a big gamble in 2008 because they were not very happy with a whole variety of things and so they gave a new direction to the country and they've had a chance now after a year and a half to see what they got and what the country is seized with is a big case of buyer's remorse."
When Kirk's Democratic opponent Alexi Giannoulias found out that White House heavy hitters such as Joe Biden, Arne Duncan and David Axelrod would be raising money for his campaign--he made sure to spread the word. Kirk's silence on McConnell's visit could be an effort to appease his more moderate supporters. Moderate or not, McConnell was very vocal about wanting a Republican in Obama's old senate seat:
"We are competing in 17 places around the country. The fact that I've been to Illinois four times should underscore that even though we're competing in 17 places, all of them aren't equal in terms of the opportunity. You've got a great chance in what has been thought of as a pretty deep blue state to elect Mark Kirk to President Obama's Senate seat. That is, indeed, as big as Scott Brown in Massachusetts."