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*** UPDATED x1 - Duckworth responds *** Kirk pops a cork over Duckworth allegation

Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

* Congresscritter Tammy Duckworth tried to blame Mark Kirk for radicalizing American Islamists yesterday, then kinda walked it back, then kinda didn’t

“In the case of those two young people, the Iraq refugees in Texas, they were actually, radicalized here in the United States,” Duckworth said. “They came as teenagers and they were radicalized because they’d been on those talk hotlines with ISIS. Because they see people like Mark Kirk demonizing Muslim and Islam and wanting to shut down our borders. That’s how we turn people against us.”

Immediately though, one of the moderators asked, “You think they were radicalized by U.S. politicians?”

“No, I think they were radicalized by ISIS, who are attempting to get U.S. politicians and the United States to react in fear,” Duckworth responded.

When asked again about her saying politicians like Kirk were responsible for radicalization, she said, “Donald Trump is out there wanting to shut down all Muslims from entering the country. We cannot go back against our values.”

* Kirk was not amused…

* Terrorists are “manipulating the refugee crisis” in Europe, for sure. Refugees are flooding over porous borders. To compare that situation to the refugees waiting years to get into the US because of our screening process is bogus.

But Duckworth got way ahead of herself when she said the US should accept 200,000 refugees. Screening that many folks at the current pace would take many, many years, if not decades. So, does she want to increase the pace? If so, how?

* Either way, if you’re gonna make a serious claim that your opponent is inspiring radicalism, then have the guts to stick with it or don’t level the allegation in the first place.

Sheesh. You’d think she’d never run for office before.

*** UPDATE *** From Duckworth’s office…

Hey Rich—good chatting a few minutes ago. As discussed, the letter that the Congresswoman signed onto—which is the basis for the 200,000 claim that has been floating around (that the Washington Post said was “wrong” and led to a correction from the Associated Press)—is available here.

It endorses a recommendation by Refugee Council USA (a coalition of 20 of the nation’s premiere refugee organizations) for the U.S. to accept 100,000 Syrian refugees, not 200,000 as some have claimed—and that was by the end of 2016, not per year.

With regards to the “does she want to increase the pace/if so, how” questions, that’s explained in the letter sent long before this became a political issue (emphasis added), though the letter is not her only action on this topic:

    “There are those who will oppose taking in additional refugees. They will say it is a security risk, or will hurt our economy. This criticism ignores the fact that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program subjects applications to more thorough security vetting than any other traveler or immigrant to the United States. We recognize the importance of security checks and will continue to support your Administration’s strong background checks for all refugees… We pledge we will do everything we can to ensure that, if steps are taken to accommodate additional refugees, there will be adequate additional resources for U.S. resettlement agencies, and for security checks, in order to meet the increased demand.”

Additionally, I’d argue with the implications that the number is:

    a) Unreasonably high. In recent American history, we’ve had refugee admission ceilings near 250,000 and over the last decade the ceiling has hovered near 100,000. This chart made from State Department data may be helpful for background on where the numbers have historically been set.
    a. As Refugee Council USA notes:
    i. “This would not be the first time that the United States proudly carries out our historic tradition of welcoming refugees in large numbers. After the end of the wars in Southeast Asia, the United States resettled 111,000 Vietnamese refugees in 1979 and then essentially doubled that number to 207,000 in 1980.”

    b) Out of the political mainstream. Former Ambassador to Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait and Lebanon Ryan Crocker (who served under GOP and Democratic Presidents) recently said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:
    a. “That’s why the Obama administration should commit to resettling 100,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.”
    i. In addition to Amb. Crocker, former Syrian Ambassador (who also served under President George W. Bush) Robert Ford, a group of diplomats from across the political spectrum and even Bush Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz signed onto a letter urging our country’s leaders to support:
    1. “100,000 Syrian refugees on an extraordinary basis, over and above the current worldwide refugee ceiling of 70,000.”

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks!

Ben Garmisa | Communications Director
Rep. Tammy Duckworth | Illinois’ 8th Congressional District

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - so... - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    It’s almost like she’s a bad politician who only got elected to her current office because the district was drawn especially for her, and she ran against an unhinged loon.

  2. - Albany Park Patriot - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    Commando Kirk! Back to save the day. Doesn’t Duckworth know that Kirk INVENTED the Global War on Terror?

  3. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Sheesh. You’d think she’d never run for office before.===

    Yep. She is the democrat version of Darin Lahood. She won’t win anything not handed to her on a silver platter.

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:00 am:

    What the what?

    Seriously, Duckworth, either take or cut back on your medication, whichever is appropriate.

    Geez, when you can out-crazy Kirk with whack-a-doo commentary, you’ve got a problem.

    It’s reminiscent of when Alexi accused Kirk of “treason” for his bat-stuff flippy comments to the Chinese on U.S. debt.

    Here’s some free advice: don’t try to out-crazy your crazy opponent.

  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:01 am:

    That wasn’t a blunder by Duckworth.

    That was straight up disgraceful.

  6. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    “It’s almost like she’s a bad politician who only got elected to her current office because the district was drawn especially for her…”

    This describes exactly why we don’t have many great politicians coming from Illinois nowadays and instead get partisan rubber-stamps. The districts are designed so politicians don’t have to fight for their own seats. I’m constantly shocked at how little Rep. Duckworth has picked up throughout her few years in politics.

  7. - Caitie - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    Duckworth off the deep end. She got so used to blaming her opponent for everything, she accidentally tried to blame him for terrorism. Tammy is ridiculous.

  8. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    Kirk had a stroke - what’s Duckworth’s excuse?

  9. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    Sen. Kirk should send her a Thank You note. In the event she wins the nomination, she’ll see those comments again. And again. And again.

  10. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    Tammy once again shows us why we shouldn’t give her a duck’s worth of consideration for any elected office.

  11. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:18 am:

    I think Duckworth is sponsored by the RNC

  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    Stay classy, Tammy.

  13. - Bogey Golfer - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:21 am:

    While we should honor Ms. Duckworth for her courage as a veteran, we do not have to show it by electing her to public office.

  14. - A guy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    She did better in a tighter district with Dick and Rahm writing the script and the checks. She’s not going to score a lot of unassisted goals.

  15. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    When your mouth is open talking too much, it’s easy to get your foot caught in it.

  16. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Meh to Kirk’s outrage here. He did make sure to emphasize Barack HUSSEIN Obama in his inflammatory opposition to the Iran deal, no?

  17. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    –She did better in a tighter district with Dick and Rahm writing the script and the checks.–

    Who writes Kirk’s scripts? Because that’s some serious batstuff crazy over the years.

    It was a whack-a-doo thing to say, but no worries. I’d wager the next time the honorable Sen. Bro’- with-No-Ho’ steps in front a camera, he’ll top it, if history is a guide.

  18. - OneMan - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    I am not sure 200,000 is going to play that well with the undecideds…

    Man some superpac is going to have a field day with that.

  19. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:40 am:

    Her greatest asset would be if the media doesn’t give her the spotlight throughout the year and she rides the coattails of the presidential election. Maybe that’s why she has been avoiding campaign events and speaking engagements…

  20. - lake county - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    Remember when Kirk said “Barack Hussein Obama” wanted to give nukes to Iran?

    Because that definitely happened.

  21. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:53 am:

    200,000 refugees?

  22. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:53 am:

    Excellent use of faux outrage on Senator Kirk’s part. That can be hard to fake sometimes, but he really nails it here.

  23. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:54 am:

    You mean Tammy will finally be held accountable for stupid things she said? How refreshing!

  24. - Downstate - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    200,000 refugees? That’s precisely what the voters in Southern Illinois want to hear. (SNARK)

    She just put this “likely D” seat back in play.

  25. - Union Man - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:02 pm:

    All that being said, I’m not voting for Kirk a second time.

  26. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    I think things like this mattered more in the past (not that they’re irrelevant) - today more people realize they aren’t voting for these individuals as much as they’re voting for the party leadership - Kirk can be as moderate as get-out, a vote for him still empowers McConnell and the GOP far more than it empowers Kirk’s centrism.

  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    Wanting to protect out border has nothing to do with demonizing Muslim and Islam. Duckworth is just firing fake bullets

  28. - Springfield Independent - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    Senator Kirk should be commended for trying to keep this country safe. We don’t need any more San Bernardino incidents. Tammy Duckworth would cause serious damage to this country if elected Senator.

  29. - jeffinginChicago - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    Lake County D is exactly right and everyone else in America has figured it out too. A vote for D congressman is a vote for Nancy Pelosi. Therefore there are fewer D reps. How long before the party figures that out and does something about it?

  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    Wanting to protect our border has nothing to do with demonizing Muslim and Islam. Duckworth is just firing fake bullets

  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    What guarantee does Duckworth have that the Refugees do not have any relatives in ISIS

  32. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:39 pm:

    All Kirk is saying that United States should protect its borders so it does not end up like: Syria, Mexico, Iraq, or Afghanistan. Countries that are controlled by criminals.

  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    How does Duckworth know that this refugee crisis is not a Trojan Horse?

  34. - Downstate - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    - jeffinginChicago @ 12:35,

    Exactly right! Harkens back to the 80’s when Jim Wright and Robert Byrd were the D’s party leaders. The D’s finally figured out that these guys were “not playing in Peoria”.

  35. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 1:16 pm:

    “ISIS talk hotline - can we chat about jihad and you? Thanks for calling!”

    “Uh - I’m thinking about joining up, strapping on some ammunition and beheading some Christians, but my mom and dad want me to complete school. Should I wait until I first pass Miss Lander’s Phys. Ed. class, or join up now?”

    “Great question! Did you know that Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois says that Muslims like you are a danger?”

    “Who’s Mark Kirk?”


    “Well I’m not going to listen to someone I never heard about, saying something about me without knowing that I am just an average Muslim Texan with a need for a few beheadings in the name of Allah!”

    “Sounds like you need to get a CD of our latest information, “How to become a Jihadi in less than a month”.”

    “OK - but don’t tell my folks, or I won’t get to keep my iPhone. I lost it after downloading “Hot Chicks in Burkas” without them knowing.”

    “If you sign up now, you get a cool looking Trojan Horse to use as a club house for you and your Jihadi friends.”

    “I’ll keep that in mind - wait a sec- What Mom? I need to use the phone! I’m talking to a guy about some guy who is saying stuff about a horse!”

  36. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    One more reason I don’t prefer Duckworth to Kirk. That’s hard to do.

  37. - Adam Smith - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    Kirk should be outraged and so should voters.

    Mark may not be perfect, but he has been an absolute stalwart in defense of this country his entire Congressional career. He has forgotten more about national defense and intelligence than Tammy will ever know.

    To claim that Mark’s defense of our country is to blame for radicalization of terrorists just shows again that she is a sock puppet of the far left party aparatchiks in DC and nowhere near ready to serve in the Senate.

  38. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    –Mark may not be perfect, but he has been an absolute stalwart in defense of this country his entire Congressional career. He has forgotten more about national defense and intelligence than Tammy will ever know.–

    I’m pretty sure that Duckworth is reminded of the price of national defense every moment of every day.

    You are outside your mind.

  39. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    Is Duckworth planning on running this campaign through her spokesperson? That’s going to be one busy communications office this year…

  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    “Only” 100,000 people by the end of 2016? And vague promises that we’ll get our screening procedures up to speed by then?

    That’s the opposite of reassuring.

  41. - The Velour Nail - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 3:30 pm:

    Duckworth is a flawed candidate. She will make it out of the primary but then lose to Kirk.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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