(Adam Zielinski/WLS 890 AM) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Republican Mark Kirk won the Illinois Senate election “fair and square” and is urging Republicans to block any and all Senate activity until he is seated.
Kirk, unlike two newly elected Democratic senators, will not be seated in the U.S. Senate in time for the start of the lame duck session of Congress, which begins on Nov. 15.
Gingrich spoke on the Don and Roma show Tuesday morning where he said the Republicans have enough resources to bring any Senate productivity to a stand-still.
“There is no reason for the Senate Republicans to roll over and play dead on this. They can object to every single step that Harry Reid tries to take at every single level and just absolutely lock the Senate down,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich said the move to seat Democrats Chris Coons of Delaware and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and not Kirk was a prime example of a “really corrupt machine style.”
“That is such an outrageously corrupt and dishonest position that even Harry Reid ought to be ashamed of himself,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich called on the entire country, including President Barack Obama, to bring pressure on the Democratic Party to act honorably and seat Kirk immediately.
“The president could certainly intervene and say to the Senate Democrats and say to the Illinois secretary of state, ‘we need to play fair and we need to honor the American people,’ Gingrich said.
Gingrich called the delay in seating Kirk “much worse” than the machinations involving the seat of former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.
State officials have said the paperwork officially declaring Kirk the winner of the Senate race against Democrat Alexi Giannoulias won’t be delivered until Nov. 29, which would only allow Kirk to participate in two weeks of the session in December.