Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, speaking at a Democratic Party event Wednesday in Springfield, called outspoken Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh "the worst congressman in America."
Walsh, of McHenry, responded in kind, calling Quinn "the worst governor in the country."
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Quinn didn't mention Walsh by name, but he referred to the opponent of Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates, who is running against Walsh in the November election.
Quinn didn't explain his assessment, but Walsh has been criticized for a series of comments, including saying Duckworth talks more about her war injuries than a "true hero" would. Duckworth was a pilot in the Iraq War and lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down. Walsh has also said radical Muslims in the Chicago suburbs are trying to kill people and that Democrats have made African-Americans "dependent" on government aid.
The Walsh campaign quickly responded.
"As the worst governor in the country presiding over a state with 8.6 percent unemployment and a massive unfunded pension liability, maybe Gov. Quinn should spend more time focusing on how to solve Illinois' fiscal crisis and get Illinoisans back to work rather than share his unwarranted opinions on the congressman," Walsh spokeswoman Erin Rapp said.