The Mott/w Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
2006-09-30 21:33:35 UTC
WASHINGTON - An Illinois congressional candidate who lost both her legs
during combat in Iraq said Saturday that President Bush has no
real strategy for securing the war-ravaged nation, just political talk
designed to appeal to voters.
"Instead of a plan or a strategy, we get shallow slogans like 'mission
accomplished' and 'stay the course,'" former Army Capt. Tammy Duckworth said
in the Democrats' weekly radio address. "Those slogans are calculated to win
an election. But they won't help us accomplish our mission in Iraq."
Duckworth's address served as a response to the president's weekly radio
talk and gave the Democratic Party a chance to showcase one of its strongest
candidates as it seeks to regain control of the House in November's
Duckworth, who copiloted a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed while under a
rocket grenade attack almost two years ago, also criticized Bush and others
in his administration for accusing anyone who challenges the president's
policies of "cutting and running."
"Well, I didn't cut and run, Mr. President. Like so many others, I proudly
fought and sacrificed," Duckworth said. "My helicopter was shot down long
after you proclaimed 'mission accomplished.'"
At a GOP fundraiser Thursday in Alabama, Bush said, "The party of FDR and
the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run."
Duckworth is seeking the suburban Chicago seat being vacated by conservative
Republican Rep. Henry Hyde (news, bio, voting record). She is running
against Illinois state Sen. Peter Roskam, the man Hyde has endorsed.
In her address, Duckworth, now a major in the Illinois National Guard, also
lashed out at the GOP-led Congress for refusing to do its job of holding the
Bush administration accountable for its flawed Iraq policy.
"We need a Congress that will ask the tough questions and work together for
solutions rather than attacking the patriotism of those who disagree," she
said. "It is time to encourage Iraqi leaders to take control of their own
county and make the tough choices that will stop the civil war and stabilize
She offered no proposal for an immediate withdrawal or a timetable for
Associated Press Writer Deanna Bellandi contributed to this story from