CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – State Sen. Rickey Hendon of Chicago says he’s been speaking frankly for more than 20 years.
The Democrat says it was no different Saturday while he was introducing Gov. Pat Quinn at a get-out-the-vote rally, when he talked about Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bill Brady.
“I’ve never served with such an idiotic, racist, sexist, homophobic person in my life,” Hendon said then.
The harsh remarks sent ripples through the governor’s contest and put Quinn — a fellow Democrat in a dead heat with Brady — on the spot. Hendon was unapologetic Sunday during a Sunday interview with CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole.
“The governor didn’t say these things — I said them,” Hendon says. “If it hurts Rickey Hendon, fine, I told the truth. The truth hurts sometimes.”
In a brief display of unity, Quinn and Brady prayed together Sunday morning with Rev. James Meeks at his South Side church. Afterward, Quinn again distanced himself from the tone, but not necessarily the politics, of Hendon’s remarks.
“I don’t think that should mask, in any way, the positions that Sen. Brady has taken,” Quinn said.
Republican candidate for governor Bill Brady says Governor Quinn should apologize to the people of Illinois for what Hendon said about Brady.
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But Quinn said he is not apologizing for comments he himself did not make. Brady suggested he and Hendon should say they’re sorry.
“It’s not about me — it’s about the people of Illinois,” Brady, a state senator and businessman from Bloomington, says. “They are disgusted with campaigns that go to that level. I think (Quinn) needs to apologize, and he should renounce Hendon from his campaign.”
Pressed Sunday about his fiery remarks, Hendon responded: “What I said was necessary, and I think that his votes are fiery also.”
Brady is a strong conservative candidate with opposition to abortion in cases of rape and incest, as well as many gay-rights issues. The liberal Hendon, who often agrees with Quinn, says he hopes his comments don’t give his candidate troubles down the road.
“I like Gov. Quinn. I hate to cause him any kind of consternation whatsoever, but it wasn’t inappropriate at all,” Hendon said. “It’s the truth, and if I had lied, that would have been inappropriate.”
Hendon says Quinn’s campaign staff has expressed frustration with his controversial remarks but hasn’t asked him to apologize.
Hendon is also a candidate for mayor. He says if the comments hurt that effort, so be it.