In a statement released this evening on his campaign website, Walsh again refused to apologize, instead attacking Tammy Duckworth — his Democratic opponent who lost both her legs in an insurgent attack in Iraq — for allegedly using “her service and the service of others as a political ploy.”
Presenting himself as the real victim in this ordeal, Walsh claimed he was being accused “of something that is not true.” (Watch his original comments here and judge for yourself.) “Shame on her for using veterans,” he declared, despite having never served in the military himself.
From Walsh’s website regarding the “Duckworth Attack”:
My opponents are once again trying to accuse me of something that is not true. It has become their agenda this Fourth of July week to twist my words and claim I said my opponent is not a hero and have insulted all veterans as a consequence. Folks, if you’re familiar with me and my campaign, you know this is utterly false. Shame on her for saying this and shame on her for using veterans in this fashion. In fact, recently on the Big John and Amy Show I stated, “Tammy Duckworth’s service demands our respect and that is something I will do and say for her throughout this campaign.” I open all my town halls byrecognizing our veterans who served to protect our great nation.
Tammy Duckworth knows this and should know better than to use her service and the service of others as a political ploy to distort my words and distract voters. We as a people are facing great problems in our country, and it is time for us to get serious and address them.
Read the rest of his statement at the bottom here.
Many pundits are referring to Walsh’s comments as a major gaffe, but that’s incorrect. It’s not a gaffe if you mean it.