KIRK: The economic situation for our state is terrible. And, of course, my opponent is the State Treasurer, who has presided over much of this. Unpaid bills by the State of Illinois have gone from $1 to $5 billion, according to the Chicago Tribune just this year. All three credit ratings have downgraded the State of Illinois debt. Recently, the State of Illinois even went hat in hand to European creditors and asked to borrow money. I don't think the Federal Government should further bailout such fiscal irresponsibility by the state. I think we should roll back much of the spending decisions made by Gov. Blagojevich, now a convicted felon. And return fiscal responsibility to the State of Illinois. Without someone bailing out even more irresponsible decisions led by the current team that runs the State of Illinois, including my opponent.
KIRK: But it's interesting, my opponent just said, he criticized me for voting for the TARP program. And yet, during the Chicago Tribune endorsement session, after a painful to watch session, he admitted that he would have voted for it, as well. And yet, he criticizes me for that vote. Also in that session, the Tribune asked him, "Name one spending program or bill that you could identify." He couldn't name one. And they said, once again, "Painful to watch." Which I think is part of the reason why they endorsed me over my opponent for this office.
GIANNOULIAS: I think he's done everything he can to help turn this economy around.
Q: [To Kirk]: How do you define the change Obama has brought to America?
KIRK: A tremendous amount of debt. While we did run deficits in the past, we now number our debt in trillions rather than in billions. And I think that represents a long-term danger, especially to the American dream. Every American born today owes $43,000 to the federal government the day she or he is born. And we are transferring a tremendous amount of debt to the new generation. Much of it owed to overseas creditors, who expect to be repaid by our children with interest.
Q: But as a Republican Member of Congress, do you really want to stand by your party's record on the debt, going back since you came to Congress?
KIRK: No. I've become very much of a fiscal hawk here, I forswore earmarks for my own Congressional District.
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