“I never said she wasn’t a hero,” Walsh said of Duckworth, who lost both her legs while piloting a helicopter in Iraq. That caused a major groan to wash over the auditorium.
“Yes you did!” someone shouted.
Walsh was responding to a question about whether he was “too extreme.”
Walsh won a chorus of groans later when he tried to defend another comment he made over the summer. He was explaining his remark about Duckworth picking out an outfit to wear at the convention when he said she should have been back in the district talking to people.
It was at that point that Walsh held up the photo he said showed Duckworth shopping for a dress.
He couldn’t even finish his remark. The crowd drowned him out in disapproval.
“What a dork!” said one man, who was wearing an anti-Walsh sticker.
Duckworth was quick with a retort: “I wear one color, it’s called camouflage.”
* I listened to the debate last night. In retrospect, I should’ve live-blogged it. If you scroll down in the ScribbleLive feed in the center column, you’ll see a lot of Tweets from the debate. The Sun-Times Storified it, so you can look at the play-by-play. I can’t find an audio file, so if you know where one is, please let us know in comments.
Duckworth talked quite a bit about bipartisanship, about Republican bills she could support and about how she backed Speaker Boehner’s budget compromise. But, mainly, the debate was all about the zingers…
Chicago Prime Steakhouse in Schaumburg — where Walsh and Duckworth had met, separately, with area business owners — became a talking point for both candidates over how to reform health care. Walsh challenged Duckworth to sit down with owners together to ask “what they’d like to do with Obamacare.” If the restaurant owners said they would keep the controversial legislation in place, he said, he’d personally donate $2,500 to her campaign.
Duckworth dismissed the bet as “classic Joe Walsh grandstanding.”
“He’s voted against this district time and again; he’s not there to serve this district, he’s there to serve the tea party and that simply is not good enough,” said Duckworth.
“She has established a long track record at the Illinois V.A. as a failed bureaucrat who wasted taxpayer dollars,” said Walsh.
* A lawsuit filed by a couple of Duckworth’s former employees was also an issue. From a Joe Walsh press release…
“However what really concerned me is that tonight Ms. Duckworth lied to every voter in the 8th dstrict. When I asked if she was being sued for terminating and humiliating employees that tried to expose political corruption, she said that was not true. Unfortunately for Ms. Duckworth and the taxpayer, who is footing her legal bill for the past three years, she is currently being sued and she should come clean about what happened during her time at the Illinois VA.”
It wasn’t exactly clear what Duckworth was responding to, but the lawsuit does exist. Click here to read it.
* Walsh distributed copies of the lawsuit during the debate, and Duckworth was asked about it by reporters after the debate ended…
“This is what Walsh does,” said Duckworth, who later described suits as “common to a head of any agency.” “He tries to distract from the issues at hand. If you want to make this about finance and being sued by former employees we can talk about the fact that you were sued by your former campaign manager for not paying his salary,” she charged.
* Marin: Walsh gaining ground on Duckworth’s territorial advantage: But there is a growing sense that the race is tightening. Sean Trende, an election analyst for RealClearPolitics.com, said Tuesday that the website, which aggregates polling data, is considering downgrading its rating of the Duckworth-Walsh contest from “likely Democratic” to “leans Democratic.”
Whenever a politician or talk show panelists starts, but saying “Don’t go there” and tries to evade a question, I think that a point has been scored.
It is hard to judge from the quality of the audio, but it sounds as if the more boisterous and aggressive audience members were Duckworth supporters. I thought that Duckworth has claimed that she was going to campaign on the moral high ground.
Who moderated this event? It sounded like an intimidated Paul Green.
- Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 10:42 am:
Walsh held up a photo of Duckworth shopping for a dress? That is just pathetic of Walsh. Next thing, he’ll be holding up a picture of her eating, saying she shouldn’t be indulging in food, just talking to voters in the district.
At what point does Duckworth run on her record as a politician and not her military service? I am not in her district, but it sure seems like that is her go-to position. “I wear one color, its called camouflage”. Falling back on her military record is getting to be a bit weak.
Brown’s column is a welcome dose of sanity into the election cycle. Sometimes things get too overheated and outrageous and partisan for decent people to ignore. Brown’s knowledgeable, and he’s a respected and widely read political reporter for a reason.
Joe Walsh just strikes me as the Platonic example of a politician who will anything, anywhere, for the audience at hand.
You want him to be a pro-choice, anti-gun moderate Democrat when he was running ages ago against Jeff Schoenberg? Fine, he’ll be that.
You want him to be a fiery-eyed Tea Party crusader when he’s on the stump talking to the base? OK, he’ll be that.
Before the Trib editorial board (see their comments), you want him to be a sober exponent for the need to cut down on entitlements and apply a rigorous (but respectful) “tough love” approach. OK, he can play that too.
It’s just some folks think that he really is this wild and unhinged guy who calls it like he sees it - when it seems clear to me that what he is, at his heart, is a -phony- par excellence. He will be anything he needs to be, switch gears in a second, just to keep himself in power.
What? Two politicians and their partisans screaming at one another, lying about issues, fabricating and planting stories about the other…..we expect something different? This is typical of politics for mmmmm… centuries I suspect. One would hope for change (where have we heard that before?) but chances are slim and fat…take your pick.
I dunno, Rich - maybe alcohol should be served at every debate so people can actually sit through them. :)
This is a prime example of why the general public hates politics. Here you have a war hero and a dedicated public servant (yes, Walsh is dedicated and does work hard) and yet they are campaigning to the bottom faster than two teenage girls running for homecoming queen. And this is in the national spotlight! I think it might be time for campaigns to start looking into hiring some regular folks or people who haven’t been ingrained in the business for 20-25 years.
- Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:58 am:
=== I think it might be time for campaigns to start looking into hiring some regular folks or people who haven’t been ingrained in the business for 20-25 years. ===
Well, that is one sure fire way to lose an election.
It is correct that Walsh was sued by his former campaign managers concerning unpaid wages and a settlement agreement resulted in the dismissal of the lawsuit. Walsh had turnover on his campaign staff and his office was almost penniless and in serious debt throughout much of 2010. Somehow, he still managed to eke a victory against a well-funded opponent (Melissa Bean).
- WhatRecession? - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:10 pm:
” –She seriously thinks that being sued by her employees is a commonplace occurence? –
It happens all the time. ”
- Then why did she lie about it?
- WhatRecession? - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:13 pm:
“I wear one color, its called camouflage”
- I’m no military expert, but I’m pretty sure that jacket is polka-dots, not camouflage, Tammy.
- Fight for Elk Grove - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:25 pm:
“It’s helmet night at the Walsh-Duckworth debate!”
- formerpolitico - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:35 pm:
Booing and cheering at a campaign debate just identifies those people as real idiots!!!!
Just - what’s wrong with bringing in some people who have earned their living outside of the political spectrum and mix them with operatives? Perhaps bigtime campaigns like Walsh or Duckworth would benefit from some levelheadedness.
The lawsuit by the former employees is not common. Duckworth personally fired the whistleblowers. She did not have an underling do it. Turns out it was a mistake and was reversed. It is costing big legal bucks.
- Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 5:49 pm:
=== Just - what’s wrong with bringing in some people who have earned their living outside of the political spectrum and mix them with operatives? Perhaps bigtime campaigns like Walsh or Duckworth would benefit from some levelheadedness. ===
Nothing is wrong with it, except for the fact that people that have never run a campaign before know nothing about running a successful campaign. Same reason you don’t go to a plumber to get your cavity filled. The non-professional campaigner would likely want to blow the whole budget on buttons, yard signs, and parades.