Ward Room
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Walsh, Duckworth Exchange Barbs in Third Debate

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A boisterous crowd gathered in Rolling Meadows to witness a debate between candidates in one of the most-wached Congressional campaigns in the country. Dick Johnson reports.

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A third debate between candidates in one of the most-watched congressional races devolved into name calling as Republican Congressman Joe Walsh labeled Democrat Tammy Duckworth a "failed bureaucrat" and she called him a Tea Party servant.

The two-hour faceoff at in the Meadows Club ball room in Rolling Meadows drew a packed house Tuesday, as the candidates for the newly-redrawn 8th Congressional District touched on issues ranging from the future of Medicare to gridlock in Washington.

Despite an admonishment not to react, the crowd was boisterous; cheering, groaning and booing as the pair went back and forth.

"Tammy Duckworth will not say a thing that [Obama 2012 Campaign Senior Political Strategist] David Axelrod and her advisors won't let her say or advise her to say," said the Republican incumbent.

"He's not there to serve this district. He's there to serve the Tea Party, and that simply is not good enough," Duckworth fired back.

Walsh said his fight against raising the debt ceiling and backing a balanced budget amendment makes him the best choice for the seat.

"I would get rid of the Department of Education tomorrow," said Walsh, drawing a loud cheer from the audience.

Duckworth said protection of Medicare and Social Security guarantees makes her the better choice.

"In the 18 months that I've been campaigning throughout the district, it's the same thing: 'Tammy, we need you to maintain the guarantee of Social Security and Medicare," Duckworth said.

But Walsh challenged how she'll pay for that.

"We have a government that does too much for too many of us," he said.

Walsh, elected to Congress in 2010, mocked Duckworth, saying she answers questions with "nice poll tested, canned answers."

Duckworth said Walsh puts his Tea Party support ahead of the district's needs.

Polls taken in the last six weeks show Duckworth leading Walsh, but if Tuesday night was any indication, each candidate has a large and outspoken crowd prepared to push their candidate all the way to Election Day.

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