Incumbent Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh (R-8) has come under intense fire the past few days following his remarks at a town hall meeting in Elk Grove on July 1. He called out his opponent Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) – an Iraq war veteran who lost her legs – for discussing her service instead of the real issues.
“I’m running against a woman,” Walsh said, “who, I mean, my God, [her service] is all she talks about.” Did Walsh address this issue as delicately and “politically correct-ly” as he could have? No. But is he right? Yes.
A perusal of numerous Duckworth videos posted on YouTube serves to back up Walsh’s legitimate, if incendiary, comments. Even in her official “Meet Tammy Duckworth” video, Duckworth sidesteps the issues. Besides doing a vague dance around supporting entitlement programs, she talks of little else besides her service and how it has shaped her life. That is all well and good, but her military history will not help create jobs.
Thanks to the liberal media, Walsh has been construed as a heartless villain with no respect for veterans. Numerous headlines claim, “Joe Walsh slams Tammy Duckworth,” “Rep. Joe Walsh blasts Double Amputee’s Military Service, says She’s not a ‘True Hero.’”
Once again, the left-wing media is putting words in the mouths of Republican, while simultaneously attacking them for speaking the truth. During his speech, Walsh never said that Duckworth is not a hero. In fact, as a result of the national backlash, he followed up his comments with a statement that says exactly the opposite:
Of course Tammy Duckworth is a hero. I have called her a hero hundreds 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 everyone 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. 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 the 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.
Too often people vote based on emotion. It is far easier to understand the tragedy of losing one’s legs than how the country plans to dig itself out of over $15 trillion of debt and avoid becoming the next Greece. Voters need to focus on the real issues at stake – the national debt, insolvent states, the ObamaCare tax, creating jobs, bolstering the economy – and that’s exactly what Duckworth is NOT doing.
The voters of the Illinois 8th district should not allow Duckworth to glide into victory based on her veteran status. As Walsh astutely stated in a CNN interview, “She is a hero, and that demands our respect, but it doesn’t demand our vote.”