Things got intense on Thursday afternoon when Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) appeared on CNN and was pressed on recent remarks he made suggesting his Democratic opponent Tammy Duckworth, a double-amputee veteran who served in Iraq, isn't a "true hero."

When asked by network anchor Ashleigh Banfield if he would characterize his choice of words as a "slip up," the Tea Party-backed congressman said, "No, Ashleigh, this wasn't a slip-up. I don't regret anything I said. Understand me. Every man and woman who's worn the uniform is a hero in my book." He added, "I've said that thousands of times. I've called Tammy Duckworth a hero hundreds of times."

The exchange took a rocky turn when Banfield challenged Walsh on the root of the controversy, which the Republican congressman argued was "manufactured" by Duckworth's campaign.

"Ashleigh, Ashleigh, Ashleigh," Walsh said in attempt to hold his ground during the segment. Over the course of the interview, the GOP lawmaker tried to regain control of his line of messaging by saying Banfield's name more than 90 times. Check out this mash-up and count for yourself:

Amid the back and forth, Banfield called Walsh an "opponent" and a "worthy adversary."

One day earlier on "The Situation Room," Walsh sought to do damage control on the heels of sparking backlash with his initial remarks.

"She is a hero and that demands our respect, but it doesn't demand our vote," he said of Duckworth. Walsh went on to suggest, however, that "all she does" is "talk about her service."

"Voters in this district want to have an inkling of where she stands on the issues and she never ever gets directly in front of people," he asserted. "I salute her service, but my god, the voters want to know if she has any thought on the issues."

Duckworth regarded Walsh's remarks about her military service as "irresponsible" during an appearance on MSNBC earlier this week.

The Democratic congressional candidate said, "He's trying to muddy the waters." She added, "He's just trying to shift the focus away from the fact that he's done nothing for the people of the district. He's irresponsible in his words and he's irresponsible in his actions."

Video by HuffPost's Amanda Terkel.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Mike Castle

    Tea Party insurgent Christine O'Donnell <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/14/delaware-election-results_n_715598.html" target="_hplink">defeated</a> GOP establishment candidate Mike Castle in Delaware's Republican Senate primary in 2010. O'Donnell <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/02/chris-coons-defeats-chris_n_765874.html" target="_hplink">lost</a> in the state's general election contest to Democratic Sen. Chris Coons.

  • Richard Lugar

    After serving six terms in the Senate, Indiana Republican Richard Lugar <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/dick-lugar-richard-mourdock-lugar-loses-indiana-republican-senate-primary_n_1501416.html" target="_hplink">was defeated</a> by Tea Party-backed Richard Mourdock in a primary contest in the 2012 election season.

  • Bob Bennett

    Former Sen. Bob Bennett was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/08/bob-bennett-utah-gop-senate_n_568988.html" target="_hplink">ousted from his post</a> at the 2010 Utah GOP Convention. Tea Party-backed Sen. Mike Lee currently holds Bennett's old seat.

  • Lisa Murkowski

    Before winning another term in the 2010 midterm election, Sen. Lisa Murkowski was defeated by Tea Party-backed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/26/joe-miller-alaska-candida_n_694559.html" target="_hplink">Joe Miller</a> in Alaska's race for the Republican Senate nomination. Murkowski mounted a successful <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/12/alaska-senate-race-write-in-ballots_n_782724.html" target="_hplink">write-in campaign</a> to keep her seat.

  • Sue Lowden

    Tea Party-backed Sharron Angle <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/09/sharron-angle-wins-nevada_n_605366.html" target="_hplink">crushed</a> GOP establishment pick Sue Lowden's political ambitions in Nevada's GOP Senate primary in 2010. Angle <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/03/harry-reid-sharron-angle_n_765995.html" target="_hplink">proved unsuccessful</a> in her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the general election.

  • Jane Norton

    GOP establishment candidate Jane Norton was defeated by Tea Party-backed Ken Buck in Colorado's 2010 Senate GOP primary. Buck ultimately <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/03/colorado-election-results_1_n_765865.html" target="_hplink">proved unsuccessful</a> in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

  • Charlie Crist

    Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who ran for Senate as an independent after beginning his campaign as a Republican in 2010, ultimately fell short in his political operation. Tea Party-backed Marco Rubio <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/02/marco-rubio-defeats-charlie-crist-kendrick-meek_n_765882.html" target="_hplink">defeated</a> Christ and Democrat Kendrick Meek in Florida's Senate general election match-up.