Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., is facing a tough reelection bid this year. So tough, in fact, that the Tea Party freshman is open to attack a group typically held in high esteem by the GOP: U.S. veterans.
Walsh's Democratic opponent for Illinois 8th congressional district is Tammy Duckworth, a Purple-heart winning pilot who lost both her legs after a grenade hit her helicopter while she was serving in Iraq in 2004. During a town hall meeting in his home state on Sunday, Walsh was caught on tape alleging his opponent is not a true hero because she often mentions her military service on the campaign trail, something that is apparently a taboo for the Walsh campaign.
While speaking at the town hall, Walsh insisted that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is also known for his military service, is, unlike Duckworth, a noble hero because he was reluctant to discuss his military experience during his 2008 bid for president.
He didn't want to do it. Day after day they had to convicne him, Walsh said, according to a video uploaded by ThinkProgress. That's what so noble about our heroes. Now I'm running against a woman who, my God, that's all she talks about.
Vote Vets, a non-partisan Veterans PAC, has already condemned Walsh's statement and called for his resignation from Congress. Walsh shot back with his own statement where he insisted he's called Duckworth a hero [hundreds] of times in the past four months, although he still accused her of spending too much time discussing her service record.
This is far from the first time Walsh has made controversial, even offensive, statements during his short time in the House. The congressman also had a few other claims to fame: During another town hall meeting earlier this year, he suggested Americans only elected President Obama because he is black, declaring that it made us feel good about ourselves.
Walsh was also famously embroiled in a heroic child support dispute with his ex-wife, after reportedly owing her $117,000 in unpaid support. The case was finally settled in April; Walsh now has payments taken directly from his congressional paycheck each month.