Duckworth: Walsh criticisms 'not worth even mentioning'

July 4, 2012 3:21:16 PM PDT
Some veterans want Republican Representative Joe Walsh to apologize for recent comments in which he said his opponent Democrat Tammy Duckworth talks too much about her military service.

Both are candidates for the Illinois 8th Congressional seat. On July 4, Duckworth said she is ready to move on and put the focus back on the issues.

Amidst the flag-waving and scramble for candy at the Villa Park Fourth of July parade, patriotism mixed with politics.

"Being a Vietnam vet myself, I know Joe is not a vet, and I don't think you diss vets or talk about vets, especially Tammy," Dennis Geiseman, VFW Post 2801, said.

"Why would he even come out and say that? It just didn't make any sense. No political sense, for sure," Larry Nunamaker, Navy veteran, said.

At a recent town hall meeting, Walsh criticized Duckworth, who lost both her legs in Iraq, and praised fellow Republican John McCain's reluctance to talk about his experience as a POW.

"Now I'm running against a woman who, I mean, my God, that's all she talks about. Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, that's the last thing in the world they talk about," Walsh said.

At the Hoffman Estates Fourth of July parade, Walsh said he wasn't suggesting Duckworth isn't a hero.

"Tammy, we salute what you've done, but where are you on the issues? Talk to us. It's like she's not talking to people about anything else," U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh said.

Both Walsh and Duckworth made appearances at the Hoffman Estates parade. Some parade goers brought signs criticizing Walsh.

"We respect John McCain. I think the whole country does. Meanwhile, John McCain has written two books about Vietnam, rightfully so," Virginia Cohrs said. "Tammy is no doubt a hero, a true hero."

Some vets came to Walsh's defense.

"Every couple months we'll have meetings with just veterans. He'll have private meetings with the veterans. We'll set up a room, and we'll sit and we'll talk about what's going on with the VA and some of the issues and benefit help that we need," Steve Friedlander, Air Force veteran, said.

Duckworth appeared ready to move on from Walsh's comments.

"They're not worth even mentioning. We need to focus on what needs to get done for this district: jobs, the transportation bill that he voted against, student loans which he voted against," Duckworth said.


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