Huffpost Politics

Tammy Duckworth Responds To Joe Walsh: 'I've Never Claimed To Be A Hero'

Posted: Updated:

Democratic House candidate Tammy Duckworth responded to attacks by opponent Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) on Friday, telling MSNBC's Michael Smerconish that she "never claimed to be a hero" and that Walsh's charges were "irresponsible."

During an appearance on "Hardball," Duckworth, a double amputee veteran of the Iraq War, said that Walsh's suggestion that she wasn't a "true hero" because she addresses her military service during campaign events is an unfair, although not unfamiliar, line of attack.

"This is not the first time he's attacked my military service," Duckworth said of the Tea Party-backed congressman. "I've never claimed to be a hero. The heroes are walking point in Afghanistan or laying in their hospital beds at Walter Reed right now. It's unfortunate he chooses to go down this route, but it's typical of his irresponsible way of conducting himself, and it's just not appropriate for a member of Congress."

Duckworth also said that she hopes veterans of recent wars don't feel "muzzled" as many Vietnam veterans did.

"I think it's important that this generation of veterans who are coming home, who have high levels of unemployment, high levels of post-traumatic stress, high levels of homelessness and suicides, they should talk about their service," she said.

One day earlier, Walsh took to CNN to defend his comments, telling host Ashleigh Banfield that his comment was not a "slip-up."

"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."

But the interview quickly devolved as the congressman lost control of his message and attempted to regain it by saying Banfield's name over 90 times:

Also on HuffPost:

Tea Party Statements
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results