The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the organization responsible for helping to elect Republicans to the Senate, is coming under fire for a now-deleted tweet that said Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth “has a sad record of not standing up for our veterans.” Duckworth, who is challenging Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), is a double amputee Iraq war veteran.
“Tasteless and dishonest, just like everything else to do with Mark Kirk’s flailing campaign,” Duckworth’s campaign spokesman Matt McGrath said in a statement regarding the tweet, “Tammy has made fighting for Veterans her life’s work, and will continue to so in the Senate.”
While fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, Duckworth lost both her legs and partial use of one arm when her Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Duckworth was awarded the Purple Heart, and was elected to Congress in 2012.
The NRSC deleted the tweet within minutes, but did not apologize, saying instead, “It would be great if reporters would pay as much attention to a deleted tweet as they should to Tammy Duckworth being sued by VA whistleblowers for ignoring claims of mistreatment and corruption.”
Senate Republicans head into November having to defend 24 Republican seats, and Senator Kirk is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents. President Obama won his home state of Illinois with 57.6% of the vote in 2012, and 61.9% of the vote in 2008.