[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/18/art.axelrod2.gi.jpg caption="David Axelrod fired back Wednesday at Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican who is seeking to replace Sen. Roland Burris as the junior Senator from Illinois."]Washington (CNN) - Senior White House adviser David Axelrod brought the White House bully pulpit to bear Wednesday on Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican hoping to capture Barack Obama's old Senate seat in November.
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Axelrod criticized Kirk for telling a group of Republicans last week that if elected, he will, "lead the effort to repeal this [health care] bill."
"As an Illinoisan, I have to say, I find his remarks disappointing," Axelrod told the Sun-Times. "Given the great challenges America, and families across Illinois face today, the last thing we need is another Republican senator in Washington who is more focused on tearing down the President than he is on solving problems."
This isn't the first time that the White House has lent its support to Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois state treasurer that will face Kirk in November.
On March 9, Giannoulias visited the White House and received a measured endorsement from press secretary Robert Gibbs.
In a statement to CNN, Kirk's spokesman, Eric Elk said, "The Congressman's remarks reflect the concerns of many Americans that the current health care bill would chart an unsustainable fiscal course for our country resulting in higher debt, more taxes and fewer jobs. Voters in Illinois understand the stakes in this election and have a clear choice to change direction, create jobs and clean up corruption."