An Illinois congressman under fire for saying that his opponent, an Iraq war double amputee, talks too much about her military service told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday that he stands by his comments.
“Look, I’ve called Tammy Duckworth a hero probably hundreds of times. Any man and woman, and I’ve been on the record, any man or woman who wears the uniform and serves this country is a hero. I’ve said that repeatedly at all the town halls I’ve had. I don’t know what the story is here. I think the other side is trying to manufacture a story,” Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said.
“And let’s be honest, everywhere I go, Tammy Duckworth’s campaign tapes me. I’m out all the time. I probably hold more town halls than any member of Congress. Tammy Duckworth doesn’t get out. All she does is film me, and a couple liberal blogs put this out, and they spread it around. I don’t see at all what the story is here.”
Walsh said the fact that Duckworth, a former Veterans Affairs official and the Democratic nominee challenging Walsh, is a war hero “demands our respect, but it doesn’t demand our vote.”
He said he’s talked to veterans who are likewise proud of their military service, like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but “they don’t throw it in your face.”
The day before, on MSNBC, Duckworth said Walsh is “just trying to shift the focus away from the fact that he’s done nothing in his two years in Congress other than be an extremist loud mouth for the Tea Party.”
“I’m proud that I have lived up to my responsibilities to this nation in uniform, that I lived up to my responsibilities as a public servant. And I hope that I get a chance in November to continue to serve my nation and my district,” Duckworth said.
“I don’t think Mr. Walsh remembers how much others have sacrificed so that he can say whatever he needs to say, no matter how irresponsible and vile it is.”