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Joe Walsh taking heat for remarks on opponent’s military service

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Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh is in the spotlight — again — for a controversial statement, this time regarding Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, the woman against whom he is running a long-shot general election bid this fall.

Video was circulating the Web on Tuesday of Walsh questioning the motives of Duckworth, who lost both legs in a helicopter accident while serving in Iraq in 2004.

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In his remarks, Walsh referenced Arizona Sen. John McCain — and his reluctance to talk about his imprisonment in Vietnam in his presidential campaigns — as an ideal to which Duckworth should aspire.

“Finally he talked a little about it, but it was very uncomfortable for him,” Walsh said. “That’s what’s so noble about our heroes. Now I’m running against a woman who — I mean, my God — that’s all she talks about.”

Trying to clean up his mess — a skill he has has plenty of time to hone since being elected in 2010, Walsh’s office offered the following statement, according to TPM:

“Of course Tammy Duckworth is a hero. I have called her a hero 100’s 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 every 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 her 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.”

Walsh made headlines last month for saying Democrats “want the Hispanic vote, they want Hispanics to be dependent on government, just like they got African Americans dependent on government.”

While Walsh has shown a penchant to make national headlines — and not in a good way — there’s not much evidence he will be anything other than a one-term “wonder”in Congress. The Cook Political Report, a non-partisan handicapping service, rates the seat as “Likely Democratic”.

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