Unable to demonstrate a clear understanding and command of the issues our nation is facing, Tammy Duckworth repeated the political lie of the year and insulted her own constituents in her first debate with Congressman Joe Walsh. Duckworth said, "...there's not been a crackpot tea party idea that he hasn't embraced," in regards to Congressman Walsh's voting record in his first term.
"We want our elected Representatives to read the bills they are voting on. Is that a crackpot idea? How about believing our government should live within its means and not spend more money than it takes in. Crackpot idea?," asked Denise Cattoni, the State Director of the Illinois Tea Party.
"We believe in constitutionally limited government, individual liberty and fiscal responsibility. Making deficit reduction a top priority, going through the budget line by line to reduce spending, these were promises from President Obama during his 2008 campaign."
When Walsh pressed Duckworth on what she meant by "crackpot" ideas, she struggled to answer the question. Eventually she repeated the lie that Joe Walsh and the House Republicans voted to end Medicare, which the non-partisan, Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact named the Political Lie of the Year for 2011. The claim was also declared false by Factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center as well as the Washington Post.
Bruce Donnelly, a Barrington Tea Party leader who watched the debate with a crowd of tea party supporters in Schaumburg, said, "Joe defended his record very firmly and politely in response to many good questions by the moderators, who seemed to be fair and interested in discussing serious issues. Tammy Duckworth was basically reciting her talking points."
Donnelly is one of the constituents in the 8th Congressional District. "Apparently Tammy Duckworth regards individual liberty and limitations on the role of government as 'crackpot' ideas," Donnelly said.
The Illinois Tea Party is made up of over 90 affiliated local groups and organizations, including several in the 8th Congressional District.