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Quinn won't apologize for Hendon's comments about Brady

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Gov. Pat Quinn outside the House of Hope Church on Sunday. He and Republican candidate Bill Brady spoke to Rev. James Meeks' congregation.

Gov. Quinn once again refused to apologize Sunday morning for state Sen. Ricky Hendon's claim at a Saturday rally that Republican governor candidate Bill Brady is "idiotic, racist, sexist and homophobic."

"I thought the comments were inappropriate and said so immediately," Quinn said. "I in no way endorse them."

Quinn would not give a direct answer when asked repeatedly by reporters whether he or Hendon should apologize directly to Brady.

Brady, however, said he felt Quinn "owed the people of Illinois an apology" and that he should "renounce Ricky Hendon from his campaign."

Before talking with reporters, Brady and Quinn spoke to a large audience at Salem Baptist Church, the South Side congregation led by state Sen. James T. Meeks.

Brady and Quinn greeted each other and shook hands before Meeks introduced them.

Saying it was his first time visiting the church, Brady, with his wife, Nancy, by his side, spelled out the issues of the campaign, including jobs and education. He also singled out his work with Meeks in Springfield, including the school voucher bill.

"Pastor Meeks and I share a deep faith and a knowledge of the problems facing Illinois families," said Brady, whose comments were met with polite applause. "But we haven't seen support from the governor's office."

Brady asked for support to "turn Illinois around."

"I will not promise things I can't deliver on," Brady said. "I will work to bring the greatest quality of life to every corner of Illinois."

Quinn, who received a robust welcome from the congregation, reminded the crowd that he has spoken at the church on several previous occasions.

Quinn jabbed at Brady's record bringing up his opponent's position on the minimum wage, jobs programs, health care and education.

"We're not going to have a governor who cuts the minimus wage, are we- " Quinn asked.

Quinn also referenced President Obama who will be in Illinois later this week on behalf of Democrat candidates.

"President Obama changed the guard in 2008," Quinn said. "We have to guard the change in 2010."

Quinn encouraged people to "have the President's back" by voting on Nov. 2.

The comments of the two candidates had members of the congregation thinking about the issues.

"Brady's track record shows the opposite of what he was speaking about," said Roseland teacher's aide Marcus Gary, 38. "His past actions don't support what he said."

Many felt this audience was an important one for both candidates.

"Minorities really care about these issues," said Renee Madewell-Jones, 40, a nurse from Calumet City. "They are the people affected. They are the people who make $10 an hour. And they can make a difference by voting."

Englewood resident Shango Johnson, 39, wishes there was a way for "everyone to work together."

"I wish we could get past all the divisiveness," Johnson said. "Black or white, we're all the same people. We're all affected by the issues at stake here."