Kirk backs down

Democratic Senate candidate Ron Kirk has backed away from his prior statement that GOP candidate John Cornyn wouldn’t be so gung-ho for war in Iraq if the soldiers involved were children of privilege.

In a written statement, Kirk sought to lay to rest a controversy that erupted four days earlier with remarks that he made during a rally in San Antonio.

Kirk suggested then that Cornyn was supportive of military action against Iraq because minority soldiers would do a disproportionate amount of the fighting. Kirk, a former mayor of Dallas, is black, and Cornyn, the Texas attorney general, is white.

“I support the president’s efforts on Iraq. I also am concerned about each and every American who potentially will be on the front lines fighting in Iraq, should we go to war,” Kirk said Tuesday.

“I regret the way I stated those concerns and had no intention of offending anyone, particularly those who serve or, like my father, have served this country,” he added.

Kirk also repeated an earlier statement that President Bush had made a “compelling case” for building an international coalition to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power. And he accused Cornyn of trying to “politicize the important decision about how we conduct a war in Iraq.”

This is one of those situations that occur in politics where one side claims it’s a big deal and the other side claims it’s not. I’ll play my part and say that this will blow over quickly. I think it was wise for Kirk to back down, and I’m glad he was smart enough to do it quickly.

It is interesting that the article bothers to mention Kirk and Cornyn’s races. You’d think anyone interested enough in this story would already be sufficiently familar with both candidates to not need that information, especially since the print edition contains a head shot of Kirk. Whatever.

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