June 29, 2010

Senate Hopeful Mark Kirk ’81 Apologizes for Embellishing His Record

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NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk ’81 publicly apologized Tuesday for being “careless” in describing his military service and background, after a series of embellishments were revealed that could threaten his bid for President Barack Obama’s former seat.

As Kirk apologized, however, he also acknowledged something his campaign had flatly denied just two weeks ago — that he was twice scolded by the Pentagon for improperly mingling politics with his military duties. He also tried to address criticism that he has made too much of his past teaching experience, including time he claimed he spent as a teacher at an Ithaca nursery school while attending Cornell.

He and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois’ first-term state treasurer, are locked in a tight race for a seat in one of the highest-profile Senate races in the country. Obama held the seat for four years before winning the White House, and a Democratic loss would be a major embarrassment to the administration.

Original Author: The Associated Press