Mark Kirk sends video message to Illinois delegates at Republican National Convention

August 28, 2012 (CLEARWATER, Fla.)

Senator Kirk is recovering from a major stroke and is not attending the convention.

"This is an exciting moment for which you're going as an Illinois Republican to participate in history," Kirk said in the video. "This has got to be one of the most important elections we've ever had to return responsible, fiscally conservative leadership to Washington."

The senator told the delegation that America needs Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan's brand of fiscal conservatism.

A standing ovation followed the 65 second clip. It was more confirmation that the state's highest ranking elected Republican had made even more progress in his recovery.

The video, which was made only days ago, surprised the Illinois Republicans attending the party's breakfast in Clearwater Beach.

"You can see that he's recovering. We need through the grace of God to give him some time to get ready so he can function," said Dennis Hastert, (R) former House speaker.

"Mark's working on his senatorial duties well," said State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale). "His staff is phenomenal and I know Mark Kirk is also engaged in getting out the vote for this fall's election."

During the weeks before the January stroke, Republican leaders say they met with Kirk to design the party's election year strategy using computer models to track and turnout Republican voters.

"Never in your republican life has our party been better funded or better organized to win an election," Kirk said in the video.

"Everything we're executing here today and the next two years is Mark Kirk's plan," said Pat Brady, Illinois Republican chairman.

In Tuesday's video, the 52-year-old senator gave no indication when he might return to his duties in Washington. Chairman Brady -- who spoke in person to Kirk recently -- indicated the comeback could happen before the end of this year.

"As you can see from the film here today or the DVD, he's in great shape and a couple more months recovery and we can get him back in the saddle," said Brady.

A video released by Kirk's a few weeks ago office showed the senator has made since the stroke he suffered in January.

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