During an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room" on Wednesday, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) suggested his Democratic rival, Tammy Duckworth, talks too much about her military service.
"She is a hero and that demands our respect, but it doesn't demand our vote," the Republican lawmaker said." He went on to assert 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 said. "I salute her service, but my god, the voters want to know if she has any thought on the issues."
The remarks from Walsh come on the heels of the Tea Party-backed congressman raising eyebrows with his suggestion that Duckworth, a double-amputee veteran who served in Iraq, isn't a "true hero" because of the degree she's discussed her record on the campaign trail.
Walsh sought to do damage control after sparking backlash with his comments.
"Of course Tammy Duckworth is a hero," he said in a statement. "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."
He continued, "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."
During an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday, Duckworth called Walsh's remarks about her service "irresponsible."
"He's trying to muddy the waters," she said. "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 irresponsbile in his words and he's irresponsile in his actions."
More:Tammy Duckworth Military Service Joe Walsh Tammy Duckworth Tammy Duckworth Joe Walsh 2012 Election Joe Walsh Interview
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more