Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois is under fire this Fourth of July for complaining that his Democratic challenger, a veteran who lost her legs in Iraq, talks too much about her military service.
Tammy Duckworth, a Black Hawk pilot, was awarded the Purple Heart after her helicopter was hit by an RPG in 2004. She lost her legs and some use of her right arm in the explosion.
At a town hall meeting on Sunday, Walsh complained that he is “running against a woman who, I mean my God, [military service] is all she talks about.”
The first-term congressman also suggested that Duckworth is not a “true hero,” while comparing her unfavorably to Arizona Sen. John McCain.
“Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about,” Walsh added, according to a video of his comments posted on ThinkProgress.
The veterans group Vote Vets is calling on Walsh to resign over his comments.
“Telling a veteran to shut up on the 4th of July is beyond the pale,” the group said in a statement to ThinkProgress. “We are past the point of calling on Joe Walsh to apologize. He should step aside and and stop embarrassing his district and America.”
Duckworth said Tuesday on MSNBC that Walsh’s remarks disrespected all American veterans. “Anyone who has worn the uniform of this great nation for a single day has done more for their nation than Joe Walsh has ever done,” she said.
Walsh, meanwhile, refused to apologize.
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