(AP) Former Army Major L. Tammy Duckworth, right, is helped by her husband Bryan Bowlsbey, as she walks...
WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 elections.
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."
(AP) Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., right, discusses Iraq while meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill in...
"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. 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 the country."
She offered no proposal for an immediate withdrawal or a timetable for withdrawal.
Here's another vet I'm sure you will agree is a patriot.
Sgt. Mark Seavey confronted Democrat Reps. Jim Moran and John Murtha at a town hall meeting in Arlington, Va. in January:
"Yes sir my name is Mark Seavey and I just want to thank you for coming up here. Until about a month ago I was Sgt Mark Seavey infantry squad leader, I returned from Afghanistan. My question to you, (applause)
"Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn't have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause) The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.
"And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in [i]Iraq[/i], when we were in [i]Afghanistan[/i]. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high."
Moron - who is one of the few congressmen supporting Charlie Rangel's call to restore the draft - responded quickly: "That wasn't in the form of a question, it was in the form of a statement. But, uhh... let's go over here." And he took the next question.