Even before Tuesday night’s debate in Rolling Meadows, when Rep. Joe Walsh and challenger Tammy Duckworth flung personal attacks in each others’ faces, their race for Congress was named one of the 10 nastiest in the nation by POLITICO. Considering there are 435 seats in Congress, that puts those two in the 97th percentile of nastiness.
Walsh isn’t known for holding back when attacking Duckworth, a veteran and double amputee.
Walsh made waves earlier this year when he said Duckworth “wasn’t a true hero” because she talked too much about her time in the military. Duckworth’s campaign hasn’t held back either; they went negative in an ad last December with footage of Walsh yelling, and calling himself a “tea party” congressman. Then in February, another ad called him “Mitt’s new best friend” and hit him for “fighting for millionaires.”
The race has been close, but Duckworth has long been seen as the favorite. However, a pro-Walsh super PAC went up with ads in the district, calling her a “Blago pal” and hitting her for the time she spent working for now-imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
It got even nastier at the debate, when Duckworth called Walsh “what was wrong with Washington” because of his support for the Tea Party, while Walsh aides circulated through the audience, distributing copies of wrongful termination lawsuits filed by two of Duckworth’s employees at the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. The debate site, the Meadows Club, had an open bar, so the crowd hooted along with every attack, reported the Daily Herald.
Walsh, the prolific McHenry Tea Partyer, attacked everything from his opponent’s fashion decisions — waving a picture of the Hoffman Estates Democrat shopping for a Democratic National Convention outfit — to the influence top party advisers have lent to her campaign, calling her anecdotes talking points “that don’t amount to a hill of beans.”
Duckworth, in turn, described Walsh as “what was wrong with Washington,” suggesting he has spent his two years in Congress solely serving the Tea Party — something, she said, that’s “not good enough.”
Since we don’t have a complete video of the debate, watch this clip of Andy the Pig flinging mud around its pen to get an idea of what this race has become.