Tea party-favorite Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) may not have ever volunteered for military service, but he says he can spot a “true hero” and the double amputee running for his seat isn’t one.
Think Progress captured video on Sunday of Walsh telling supporters that Tammy Duckworth wasn’t a hero because “all she talks about” is losing both her legs when the helicopter she was piloting was shot down in Iraq in 2004.
“Understand something about John McCain,” the congressman explained. “His political advisers, day after day, had to take him and almost throw him against a wall and hit him against the head and say, ‘Senator, you have to let people know you served! You have to talk about what you did!’ He didn’t want to do it, wouldn’t do it.”
“That’s what’s so noble about our heroes,” Walsh continued. “Now I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about. That’s why we’re so indebted and in awe of what they’ve done.”
Duckworth, who served as a helicopter pilot with the Illinois Army Guard’s 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation, was awarded the Purple Heart in December 2004.
“This is not so bad,” she said of her injuries later that year. “I’m just glad it was me and not one of my guys out there.”
Watch this video, uploaded by Think Progress on July 3, 2012.
Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore