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Tammy Duckworth Uses Tasteless GOP Insult To Defend Her Record On Vets

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 9/03/2016 Nick Wing

If you come at Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Twitter, you best not miss.

Duckworth, a combat veteran and double amputee now running for Senate in Illinois, on Wednesday tweeted her response to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which had attacked her the day before for "not standing up for our veterans." The NRSC quickly deleted the tweet with the unfortunate language, but stood by the nature of its claims.

In a barrage of 18 tweets, Duckworth defended her record and fired back at Republicans, including Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who is likely to be her opponent in November if she secures the Democratic nomination next week. She also reclaimed the NRSC's insensitive wording with her own hashtag, #TammyStands4Vets.

While the majority of Duckworth's tweets refer to her record of fighting for veterans as a member of Congress, Republicans are focusing on allegations from her time as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs between 2006 and 2009.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Kirk's campaign called attention to a forthcoming trial, in which Duckworth faces charges of retaliating against two employees at the Illinois VA nearly a decade ago. Two other VA whistleblowers accused her earlier this month of ignoring their concerns about the mistreatment of patients at a VA facility in the state.

Duckworth's camp has denied the latest allegations, claiming she "doggedly pursued" the whistleblowers' concerns after they were brought to her attention.

And while her campaign hasn't commented on the upcoming trial, citing pending litigation, Democratic officials in Illinois have noted that the case has been dismissed twice previously.

Matt McGrath, a spokesman for the Illinois Democratic Party, told The Associated Press in August that the GOP attempt to make the lawsuit a campaign issue again -- even though it failed to derail Duckworth's congressional bid in 2012 -- smelled of "desperation."

"Every time Mark Kirk's campaign hits a bump in the road ... he and his Republican allies start talking about this case again," he said.

Duckworth currently holds a substantial lead in Tuesday's contest for the Democratic nomination.

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