SPRINGFIELD -- Democrat Tammy Duckworth Tuesday accused Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of attacking her military service and a video of some of his comments is drawing national attention, providing another blow in the heated contest for Congress from the 8th District.
At a town-hall meeting in Elk Grove Village Sunday, Walsh contrasted Duckworth with Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, who he said often downplayed his decorated military career in his 2008 bid for president.
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"I'm running against a woman who I mean, my God, that's all she talks about," Walsh told the crowd. "Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it's the last thing in the world they talk about."
That prompted a reply from Duckworth, who is a veteran and double amputee following a 2004 helicopter crash in Iraq.
"Congressman Walsh's comments insult those who sacrificed to make this country free," Duckworth campaign manager Kaitlin Fahey said in a statement. "Tammy is proud of her over 20 years of service with the Army and her family's legacy of fighting for this country."
The 8th Congressional District is centered in Schaumburg and stretches from Addison to Elgin and includes portions of Cook, DuPage and Kane counties.
Walsh, of McHenry, responded to the criticism, saying: "Of course Tammy Duckworth is a hero. I have called her a hero 100's of times in the past four months."
On his website, he said Duckworth and her supporters are trying to "twist my words and claim I said my opponent is not a hero and have insulted all veterans as a consequence. Folks, if you're familiar with me and my campaign, you know this is utterly false."
Both campaigns have drawn national attention and the contest will be one of the most watched in the suburbs as the summer moves on.