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Stories tagged with “Tammy Duckworth”
Joe Walsh Attacks Opponent For Picking Out A Dress | Republican Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) attacked his Democratic challenger, Tammy Duckworth, with a photograph of Duckworth picking out a dress before her speech at the Democratic National Convention during a debate between the two on Tuesday. Despite intense booing from the audience, Walsh carried on with his attack, saying, “the only debate Ms. Duckworth is actually interested in having is which outfit she’ll be wearing for her big speech.” Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran, acknowledged that she picks out her own clothes, but added, “for most of my adult life, I’ve worn one color — it’s called camouflage.” This is not Walsh’s first outlandish attack on his opponent. He said Duckworth — who lost both her legs in the Iraq war — was using her experience as a “political ploy.”
After saying his opponent was not a “true hero” at a town hall last week, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) was the object of ire from veteran groups and voters alike. But Walsh stands by his statements, and at a town hall over the weekend he actually doubled down on his attacks of his double-amputee veteran opponent, Tammy Duckworth.
In a video taken at the town hall, Walsh acknowledged that members of the military are heroes, but said Duckworth “talks about her service too much”:
WALSH: I do believe as someone who respects what Tammy Duckworth did with her service, as someone who is thankful, and someone who is sorry for her injuries, I do believe she talks about her service too much. And as a voter in this district, I would want to know where she stands on issues.
In fact, Duckworth has proposed several initiatives to help veterans, but tried to take the focus off of her own service in a recent interview with MSNBC, saying “I dont think Mr. Walsh remembers how much others have sacrificed so that he can say whatever he wants to no matter how irresponsible it is.”
Rep. Joe Walsh: All Tammy Duckworth Does Is Talk About Her Service | Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) backed off his claim that his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee who lost both her legs in Iraq when insurgents hit her helicopter with an RPG, is not a “true hero,” in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday. Walsh continued his attacks on Duckworth, complaining that “all she does is talk about her service.” Veterans “don’t throw [their service] in your face,” said Walsh. Watch the interview:
Rep. Joe Walsh Attacks Double Amputee Veteran Again, Says She Uses Her Service ‘As A Political Ploy’
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.
Many of these veterans described themselves as “dedicated conservatives”, “rock-ribbed Republicans”, and “Tea Party members.” Yet despite their ideological leanings, Walsh’s insult drove them to defend Tammy Duckworth and strongly condemn the Tea Party freshman.
Bob Frick wrote: “As a dedicated conservative and Republican and Tea Party member, you overstepped Congressman. Before I am either of the aforementioned, I am an American. I am a retired American soldier. How dare you refer to or determine what a hero is when you never served.”
Similarly, William Gilliam posted: “I am a rock-ribbed Republican and a Vietnam Veteran. Your comments about Tammy Duckworth’s military service and resultant injuries are just dead wrong. Unless and until you have the courage to sign up yourself, don’t disparage anyone else’s service nor their willingness to talk about it.”
A leading veterans group has also called on Walsh to resign.
Here is a sampling of veterans defending Duckworth and denouncing Walsh:
After ThinkProgress published this story, Walsh appears to have responded by disabling comments on his Facebook page.
Tammy Duckworth — a double amputee who lost both her legs in Iraq — is hitting back against Rep. Joe Walsh’s (R-IL) claim that she exploits her military service and battle wounds for political purposes. During an interview with MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Tuesday afternoon, Duckworth — who is challenging Walsh’s House seat — said the hurtful comments offended all veterans across America and noted that her experiences in war do inform her policy views:
DUCKWORTH: If anybody highlights my military service, it’s Mr. Walsh, who actually attacked it on a regular basis. Yes, my wounds do inform my discussions with the constituents when I talk about health care. I know very deeply in a deeply personal way what access to affordable health care means, so when he votes against Medicare for our seniors not once, but three times, he’s voting against the people of the district. So yes, I talk about the fact that had I not had the great health care that I have from the VA [Veterans Administration], I would probably be bankrupt and that’s why we need to make sure we preserve Medicare as we know it.
Military and veterans advocacy organizations have condemned Walsh’s comments, but the Congressman has refused to apologize.
Walsh is running against Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee who lost both her legs in Iraq when insurgents hit her helicopter with an RPG in 2004.
The Tea Party freshman opened the Elk Grove town hall by arguing that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was reluctant to discuss his own military service in 2008, which made him a “noble hero.” By contrast, “Now I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about,” Walsh said.
WALSH: Understand something about John McCain. His political advisers, day after day, had to take him and almost throw him against a wall and hit him against the head and say, “Senator, you have to let people know you served! You have to talk about what you did!” He didn’t want to do it, wouldn’t do it. Day after day they had to convince him. Finally, he talked a little bit about it, but it was very uncomfortable for him. That’s what’s so noble about our heroes. Now I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about. That’s why we’re so indebted and in awe of what they’ve done.
Duckworth chose to become a helicopter pilot because few other combat roles are open to women. She has served for more than 20 years, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and receiving multiple military awards, including a Purple Heart, an Air Medal, and an Army Commendation Medal.
Yet, because she has the audacity to mention her military service, in Walsh’s eyes she’s not a “true hero.”
A leading veterans group has condemned Walsh’s comments and called on him to resign.
Walsh responded to the controversy this afternoon, but refused to apologize and continued to attack Duckworth for mentioning her longtime military service. Here’s his full statement:
“Of course Tammy Duckworth is a hero. I have called her a hero 100’s of times in the past four months. Just like every man and woman who has worn the uniform, her service demands — demands — our utmost respect. That’s why I recognize our veterans at the beginning of every one of my public town halls. However, unlike most veterans I have had the honor to meet since my election to Congress, who rarely if ever talk about their service or the combat they’ve seen, that is darn near all of what Tammy Duckworth talks about. Her service demands our thanks and our respect but not our vote. She is running for Congress — and there are real problems in this country like our massive debt, high unemployment and the Obamacare tax. We are about four months from Election Day and the people of Illinois have no idea where Tammy Duckworth stands on these issues because she dodges debate requests, ignores our invitations to speak at town halls, refuses to talk about solutions and constantly reminds voters of her war service. Our thoughts and prayers will always be with her for her service and her loss but these are serious times and the people of Illinois deserve to know what she thinks about real issues and what she will do as a Congresswoman.”
Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh (R) last month announced his opposition to legislation that would prevent the interest rates on federal student loans from doubling in July, saying it amounted to giving everyone “basically free college education.”
Last weekend, in his first debate against his challenger, Tammy Duckworth (D), Walsh reiterated that position and again struggled to maintain control of basic facts regarding student loans. Walsh said he opposed efforts to prevent rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent because it would bring minimal benefit to students while adding to the national deficit, the Chicago Tribune reports:
Walsh defended his vote against a plan to keep student interest rates at 3.6 percent [sic] after a July 1 deadline, saying it would not result in the savings that have been touted. Walsh said new students would save just $7 a month while the national deficit would rise by $6 billion.
“This was a perfect issue that just typifies everything that’s wrong in Washington,” Walsh said. “Here was this president whose numbers might be down among young Americans. So what’s he going to do? He’s going to try to throw a bone to young Americans.“
Walsh’s assertions aren’t quite correct. The doubling of the current interest rate would cost students an average of $1,000 a year, or about $83 a month. And neither the House nor Senate version adds a single cent to the national deficit. Senate Democrats paid for their version by closing a tax loophole that benefits wealthy individuals. House Republicans have thus far refused to cover the cost by closing tax loopholes, instead choosing to pay for their version with cuts to the prevention fund from the Affordable Care Act.
In their first debate, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and his Democratic competitor Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, clashed over the budget debate that is dividing Congress. Among the issues debated, Walsh and Duckworth accused each other of trying to destroy Medicare.
Duckworth correctly pointed out that approving Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal would end Medicare as we know it, but Walsh insisted that passing massive tax cuts for the rich would help save Medicare, according to the Chicago Sun-Times:
Duckworth continued: “You are on the front lines, giving money to people who don’t need it. Why are you so obsessed with ending Medicare? You call it a ‘Ponzi scheme.’”
“Tammy, I want to save it!” Walsh interjected. “Every Republican and Democrat in D.C. knows it’s gone in 10 years. What do you propose to do?”
“I propose to end the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires to pay for it,” Duckworth said.
“Oh, Holy Cow, I would much rather be standing with a plan than with a president who has ignored Medicare,” Walsh told Duckworth. “If you’re going to continue down this road as the president is and say, ‘I’m just going to ignore Medicare,’ you, my dear, are ending it as we know it. And that is so wrong.”
Ryan’s budget plan would dramatically reshape Medicare and charge seniors more: led by Ryan, House Republicans voted to cut funds to Medicare, Medicaid, and other social programs so that they could protect defense spending. The Washington Post reports that Ryan’s plan is still a difficult issue on the campaign trail as Democrats continue to attack Republicans for supporting the plan.
But even if it may be proving a difficult topic for congressional Republicans, likely GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has staked out the same budget plan as Ryan.