Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh has never been known for his tactful campaign rhetoric. A self-styled Tea Party bomb thrower, Walsh is best known for his disrespectful comments and actions towards President Barack Obama.
Now, he’s turning that charm to his rival, Democrat Tammy Duckworth. In an interview with Politico about the impending uphill battle he faces in a new and much more Democratic-leaning district, Walsh dismissed the Iraq War veteran who lost both legs when the Blackhawk helicopter she piloted was hit by a grenade, as inconsequential.
“I have so much respect for what she did in the fact that she sacrificed her body for this country,” said Walsh, simultaneously lowering his voice as he leaned forward before pausing for dramatic effect. “Ehhh. Now let’s move on.”
“What else has she done? Female, wounded veteran … ehhh,” he continued. “She is nothing more than a handpicked Washington bureaucrat. David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel just picked her up and dropped her into this district.
The dismissive and offensive comments were challenged by Democrats and veterans groups alike. “Just when you think Congressman Joe Walsh couldn’t sink any lower, he insults the service and sacrifice of our Veterans, particularly one like Tammy who lost her limbs in the line of duty. Congressman Walsh owes Tammy Duckworth and all Veterans an apology for his outrageous disrespect for their service,” stated VoteVets spokesman Jon Soltz.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s message was simple. “Enough is enough: Joe Walsh must be defeated.”
Walsh is trying to do damage control on his statement, telling a columnist at Chicago Magazine, “I often catch myself when I’m talking. I meant something other than how it came out….Because I never served, I have an unbelievable amount of awe and respect for everybody who wore the uniform.”
But he also states that although he would have phrased things differently, especially regarding the “dropped her into the district” phrase that the Chicago columnist found especially distasteful, he still stands by his remarks.
Your qualifications for holding office being criticized by a man who owes over $100 in child support he shows little inclination to pay? Looks like Walsh may need to do a little self-reflection during this campaign.
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