Kirk sorry for mocking rival’s military heritage

The dust up over the remarks happened at Thursday’s debate in Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republican Sen. Mark Kirk has apologized for mocking Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s immigrant background and her family’s history of military service. Kirk offered up “Sincere apologies to an American hero … and gratitude for her family’s service” via Twitter Friday. Duckworth said Thursday that her family has served in uniform since the Revolution. Kirk said he’d “forgotten (her) parents came all of the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”

Duckworth was born in Thailand to a mother of Chinese descent and a father who first went to Southeast Asia to serve with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee immediately called Kirk’s comments “wrong and racist.”

Kirk’s remarks were the latest in a series that U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth says make him unfit for the office. His previous brow-raising remarks include saying President Barack Obama was acting like the “drug dealer in chief” when he made a $400 million payment to Iran contingent on the return of U.S. prisoners.