Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a US Army veteran who lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq, rebuked Tucker Carlson after the conservative Fox News host attacked her on Monday night and suggested that she hates America.
“Does @TuckerCarlson want to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America?” Duckworth wrote on Twitter.
Duckworth was awarded the Purple Heart after she lost her legs in 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter she was co-piloting during the Iraq War.
Duckworth later retired from the Illinois Army National Guard as a lieutenant colonel and went on to serve as the assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Obama administration.
When she was elected to the US Senate in 2016, she became the first female double-amputee to serve in the chamber and she was the first senator to give birth while in office.
But Carlson, whose controversial comments over the years have prompted multiple advertiser boycotts, sought to question her patriotism on his Fox News program.
“You’re not supposed to criticize Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military,” Carlson said, acknowledging that he was aware of her service.
Carlson then attacked Duckworth as a “deeply silly” and “unimpressive person” over comments she made on CNN in which she suggested having a “national dialogue” over the possible removal of monuments to the founding fathers, such as George Washington, who owned slaves.
“It’s long been considered out of bounds to question a person’s patriotism,” Carlson said, after playing the clip from Duckworth’s appearance on CNN over the weekend. “It’s a very strong charge and we try not to ever to make it.”
“But in the face of all this, the conclusion can’t be avoided: These people actually hate America,” Carlson added. “There’s no longer a question about that.”
The attack on Duckworth came as she is being considered as a vice presidential running mate for Joe Biden. People familiar with the matter told CNN in late June that she is among a broader tier under consideration.