Mark Kirk, who once vowed to "lead the effort" to repeal health care reform, may not be leading the way--but is supporting a Republican plan that would repeal President Obama's health care law.
In March, Kirk ranted about President Obama and health care reform at a Republican dinner. The event was closed to the media, but Politico obtained audio from it--and Kirk was called out on his pledge to repeal the bill.
Following his pledge, Kirk appeared to back down from his anti-health reform stance. After President Obama's health care plan was made law, Kirk seemed resigned.
"Well, we lost," he said, refusing to say whether he would back any Republican-led effort to repeal the bill.
But this week, he got back on board.
Republican leaders in the U.S. House have endorsed two different plans to get rid of what they call "ObamaCare." One, sponsored by Iowa Congressman Steve King, would repeal much of it. Another, from California's Wally Herger, would repeal the law, and replace it with a different plan. That's the route Kirk favors.
"Because I think that as Republicans and Americans we should be for healthcare reform, but the kind of reforms that I want to back don't weaken the finances of the federal government long-term with new spending," Kirk said.
Kirk acknowledged that the plan he supports would need 218 signatures in the House in order for Democratic leaders to call a vote on it, according to Chicago Public Radio.
"These are Republican petitions, which in this Congress have no chance," Kirk said.
Aside from slamming health care reform, Kirk also bashed President Obama's stimulus package.
"The stimulus has been very ineffective in actually generating long-term economic growth," Kirk said during a Monday speech in Northbook. In a follow-up interview with Fox Chicago Political Editor Mike Flannery, he continued, saying the American people were led to believe the country would be in a depression without the stimulus package. He did not address whether or not that would have happened.
"What happens when the borrowed money from China runs out? " Kirk said. "I'm very worried about the growing debt in the United States."
Kirk said he supports more "fiscal responsibility and less spending," and would not answer Flannery when asked whether he supports cutting off benefits for the unemployed.
"Congressman Kirk voted for the disastrous Bush policies that took us from record surpluses to record deficits," Alexi Giannoulias' campaign told Fox in a statement. "Forced 8 million Americans out of a job, tripled the national debt and then left our economy in ruin. Only now, with jobless benefits set to expire does Congressman Kirk pretend to be a fiscal hawk."
Kirk replied by bringing up the Giannoulias family's Broadway Bank--which collapsed several months ago and has been Kirk's main attack on Giannoulias since the primaries.
"Bush certainly had deficits, but nothing compared to the deficits of today," Kirk said.
WATCH Kirk's appearance on Fox here: