WASHINGTON--GOP Illinois Senate nominee Mark Kirk's campaign called a last minute press conference on Monday to go after Democrat Alexi Giannoulias over comments he made Sunday about loans to crime figures during their debate on NBC's "Meet the Press" hosted by David Gregory.
Giannoulias was defensive when Gregory asked whether he knew that Broadway Bank (family owned until it failed in April) was lending money to crime figures. "We didn't know the extent of that activity," Giannoulias said. Asked again by Gregory if he knew, Giannoulias said, "I didn't know the extent of their activity, of course not."
Giannoulias said it--and he's said it before, the Giannoulias camp notes. A sampling:
"It was never standard procedure to do criminal background checks on customers...If I knew then what I know now, obviously we wouldn't have made those loans.'" [Chicago Sun-Times, 1/29/10]
"No bank performs criminal background checks when someone comes in to get a loan...If I knew now what I knew then, we probably wouldn't have approved those loans." [Springfield Journal Register 2/8/10]
"As far as the details of Giorango, which we've answered 100 times, this is a relationship that was started before I got to the bank. Was I involved in some of the servicing of the loans? Yes." [Tribune Editorial Board, 3/3/2010]
"I didn't know the full extent of his legal problems." [Crain's Chicago Business3/3/2010]