GOP senator says he won't back Trump

Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (Ill.) on Tuesday said he will not vote for presumptive GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE for president.

Kirk said he found Trump's remarks about Indiana-born federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University, "dead wrong" and "un-American."

ADVERTISEMENT

"As the presidential campaign progressed, I was hoping the rhetoric would tone down and reflect a campaign that was inclusive, thoughtful and principled," Kirk, perhaps the most endangered Republican in the Senate, said in a statement.  

"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," he said.

"It is absolutely essential that we are guided by a commander-in-chief with a responsible and proper temperament, discretion and judgment," Kirk continued. "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 has been under fire for saying Curiel was biased because of his Mexican heritage. 

Kirk is seeking reelection in a state where Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBriahna Joy Gray: Progressives like Turner should reconsider running as Democrats Biden wishes Obama a happy birthday Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats MORE will be the runaway favorite in the presidential election. President Obama won Illinois by large margins in 2008 and 2012, and it is seen as a safe Demcoratic state in presidential contests.

Kirk, who will face Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) this fall, had previously said he’d support the eventual Republican nominee.