Walsh, Duckworth say they'll debate on CNN
July 6th, 2012
06:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Walsh, Duckworth say they'll debate on CNN

(CNN) - Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois said Friday he would accept an invitation to debate Democrat Tammy Duckworth on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"I'd be happy to come on your show to do a live debate with @Tammy4Congress," Walsh wrote on Twitter.

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Shortly before Walsh's tweet, CNN's Wolf Blitzer was interviewing Duckworth on his show and invited both candidates to take part in a live debate on the program.

"We would love to invite you and Mr. Walsh to come on and do a good, serious, substantive debate, no name-calling, no nasty words on either sides, just the substantive, important issues," Blitzer said.

Responding, Duckworth said: "I think that would be great too, Wolf."

She added that both candidates held a debate in May and have agreed to several more.

"And if yours is one of the ones we agreed to, then I would be happy to," she continued.

The two candidates are fighting for a seat representing the new 8th Congressional District located outside of Chicago and created by the state's recent redistricting process. It's widely expected to vote Democratic in November.

Duckworth and Walsh have been in the headlines this week as Walsh, a first-term congressman elected with wide tea party support, has been critical of Duckworth for talking too much about her military service on the campaign trail.

A Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq, Duckworth lost both legs and the use of one arm when her crew was shot down in 2004. She was later awarded the Purple Heart and continues to serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.

"My God, that's all she talks about," Walsh said Sunday at a town hall. "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."

He has since repeatedly stood by his remarks, insisting that Duckworth is a hero but that her service doesn't solely make her qualified for Congress.

"I have respect for her and her service. My thoughts and prayers go out to her, like they do every wounded warrior. But that doesn't demand our vote," he said to CNN's Ashleigh Banfield in a heated interview Thursday.

Hitting back on Friday, Duckworth said she spends "a majority of the time" talking about the issues and that Walsh was simply trying to distract from his record in Congress.

"It's very irresponsible for Mr. Walsh, as a sitting congressman, to try to muzzle war veterans and keep them from talking about their service," Duckworth said on "The Situation Room."

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: Illinois • Joe Walsh • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. DJ Reality

    I look forward to this debate. How many times will Joe Walsh yell insults at Tammy Duckworth.

    July 6, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    One more tea party debate in CNN

    July 6, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Just a thought

    I wouldn't count on one accurate statement from a tea-partier / Republican'ts like Walsh. He will be there to throw nasty spitballs at a decorated veteran, lie on the president and embarass us all as usual. Good luck with that Wolf.

    July 6, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Wendy

    He is just a BULLY! Can't stand that man! Vote him out please!

    July 6, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. labman57

    Walsh is going to need to clean up his act. A class in anger management might help.
    If this guy was required to give a speech or participate in a debate without denigrating his opponents or making Palin-esque petty, snarky comments ... he would be speechless.

    July 6, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Norma Vessels

    When Mr. Walsh opens his mouth, it's not to speak of his opponent on the policies they differ in, but to bluster and to put down that opponent, no matter how much distortion goes into his retorts. In other words, the man is full of hot air! Don't like him.

    July 6, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. T'sah From Virginia

    All Tammy needs to do is stand there and Walsh will make an ash-hole out of himself without her even opening her mouth!!! This may be a debate worth watching!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    July 6, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. Larry L

    One of Karl Rove's tricks is to advise candidates for Republican positions to attack the opponent's strongest asset – and declare it irrelevant, untrue, or overstated. Long ago in the Republican Primary against Bush they used the method to question McCain's patriotism. The infamous "swift boat" attack was more of the same – attacking a true war hero at the last minute using lies from people who had no real association with John Kerry and knew nothing about his service. Even when they exposed as dirty liars the damage had been done and a candidate who used his daddy's name to avoid service in Vietnam became President. The rest of that story caused the situation we're all enduring today.

    July 6, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Go get 'em, Tammy!!!!!

    July 6, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. KEVIN

    Its just amazing how the republicans refuse to let thee american ppl. Know exactly what their. Plan is or should I say scam!

    July 6, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  11. asabud

    Just when you think you've seen it all, now we have a Member of Congress criticizing a Veteran for speaking about her service to her Country. If this is the best the Republicans/Tea Partiers can do, they are in real trouble. Walsh is neither fit nor worthy to shine Duckworth's boots. Send him to Fort Polk and make him sleep with an M-14, the boar hogs that roam at night, and the pine trees and sand for 8 weeks. Goodness, gracious.

    July 6, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. Jerry Lemieux

    So now Duckworth has the opportunity to say something beside "when I was in the war." It's time for her to put up or shut up. I served in two wars during a 20 year career. If I decide to run for office, the fact has no bearing on my qualification other then it proves I was willing to serve.

    July 7, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  13. J.V.Hodgson

    Mr walsh made a big mistake with this staement of "all she talks about is her military service" like it or not it is strength for any US candidate for Office... and you dont attack strengths. In the Progam you referred this man was uncivil, arrogant, and rude and has never debated with him. Apparently they had one in may and several other she says in the pipeline. Mmm confirms for me Not a good guy to vote for.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    July 7, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  14. I'M JUST SAYING TOO....

    "good, serious, substantive, no name calling debate"????????? Wolf, who are you going to get to debate Ms. Duckworth???????

    July 7, 2012 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  15. frida

    That's the core image of who they are!they get upset when a qualify candidate challenge them. They just want to sit in their offices disputing every proposal from president. That's all. People of IL vote him out

    July 7, 2012 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  16. caw083@comcast.net

    If her service does not make her qualified to serve in congress then what has he done to qualify for congress. He is so obnoxious and disrepectful, I don't understand how he could have been elected in the first place. The people in his district had better wake up and elect someone who will work for them and not the tea party.

    July 7, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  17. TAK

    I am very disappointed that Duckworth would stoop so low as to give this yutz, who had better things to do than serve his country, equal footing in a debate. I am certain that Walsh will not abide by and debate rules, nor stick to the truth, to do his best to humiliate Duckworth and her military service.

    July 7, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  18. Ideas, Ideals, not ideologies

    I would still vote for her if her service was the only thing she spoke about. Walsh is a loudmouth deadbeat with no experience or record to speak of. That's what happens when you've been part of a do nothing congress. Instead of talking about your achievements you complain about your opponent's.

    July 7, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  19. Gary

    I can't wait for Tammy to smack down this big mouth, deadbeat, disgrace to Illinois.

    July 7, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  20. Nole82

    Has Joe Walsh served anyone but himself?

    July 7, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  21. Charlie from the North

    Duckworth = What is best about America

    Walsh = what is worst about mankind

    Should be a great debate, thanks CNN

    July 7, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Eddie The Barber

    Walsh needs to be terminated as a congressman. He's rude, disrespectful, has no patience for descent, is a one issue candidate – a real shallow and nasty man who would be better off having his own conservative talk show. Then you'd have to tune-in if you wanted to hear him talk about his single issue. He's nothing more than a bar room brawler from what I've seen of him.

    July 7, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. Tony in Maine

    I certainly hope someone toilet trains Walsh first. If he does the condescending "Tammy" as punctuation of his every absurdity as he did with Ashleigh – I would end up throwing a shoe at my tv or throwing up or both. My tv is safe though, I'll be watching a rerun of Bath Crashers or perhaps an early Ice Road Trucker that features Lisa Kelly.

    July 7, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. Barbara; IL

    He's currently my congressman and I hope she defeats him this November. He is an idiot and an embarrassment to our district not only for the ridiculous things he says, but his actions as well. He failed to pay child support to his ex wife and she had to take him to court. He is also one the congressmen who boycotted the President's speech and said he needed to be with his constituents. He is a total disgrace as a congressman.

    July 7, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. mike

    Really CNN who cares why would you stoop so low just for ratings I really thought you were much better and more professional than this..shame on you..The guy is a joke just leave it at that. Why in Gods name are you giving such disgusting behavior a new outlet..makes me sick

    July 7, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |