Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk blasted Trump for calling into question the legal standards of a judge of Mexican heritage. (via Flickr)

Many established members of the GOP have pledged support for presumptive nominee Donald Trump, but not Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk. On Tuesday, Kirk explained his reasons for refusing to align with the Republican Party on a Trump nomination:

I have spent my life building bridges and tearing down barriers — not building walls. That’s why I find Donald Trump’s belief that an American-born judge of Mexican descent is incapable of fairly presiding over his case is not only dead wrong, it is un-American.

As the Presidential campaign progressed, I was hoping the rhetoric would tone down and reflect a campaign that was inclusive, thoughtful and principled. While I oppose the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump’s latest statements, in context with past attacks on Hispanics, women and the disabled like me, make it certain that I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for President regardless of the political impact on my candidacy or the Republican Party.

Kirk experienced a stroke in 2012 and often uses a wheelchair as a result. His statement continues:

It is absolutely essential that we are guided by a commander-in-chief with a responsible and proper temperament, discretion and judgment. Our President must be fit to command the most powerful military the world has ever seen, including an arsenal of thousands of nuclear weapons. After much consideration, I have concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world.

Trump’s derogatory and inflammatory rhetoric has made headlines throughout his campaign. Most recently, he called the legal standards of a judge of Mexican heritage into question. Despite months of such comments, many prominent Republicans have voiced support for Trump, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Arizona Sen. John McCain; The Atlantic has a full list here.

Kirk’s opposition to Trump is particularly noteworthy considering that he is up for re-election this fall. CNN reports that Kirk “faces a tough challenge this November from Illinois Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth.”

—Posted by Emma Niles

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