CHICAGO (CBS) — Republican Congressman Joe Walsh’s son on Tuesday pleaded with his father’s Democratic challenger, Tammy Duckworth, to pull campaign ads accusing his father of being a deadbeat dad, calling the ads “hurtful” and “untrue.”
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, last year, Walsh repeatedly fended off allegations that he had failed to pay child support, after his wife sued him for $117,000 in missed payments.
But Walsh thought those allegations had been put to rest when, in April, the child support case was dismissed after they resolved the matter in private, and issued a joint statement that Walsh “is not and was not a ‘deadbeat dad’ and does not owe child support.”
But the child support charges returned to the forefront of the campaign for the 8th Congressional District on Monday, when Duckworth’s campaign released ads describing Walsh as “Deadbeat Joe.”
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On Tuesday, Walsh’s son, Joe Walsh Jr., stood in front of reporters to send a message to Duckworth.
“Our parents took care of their issues months ago, and now you’ve decided to bring this issue up again purely for political gain, despite the pain it causes us three kids,” he said.
The elder Walsh said the child support case was dismissed in April, and read the statement in which is former wife agreed that the dispute over child support was a misunderstanding.
“Now, two weeks before an election, she’s going to throw up the same trash,” the congressman said. “My adult kids, it’s just gotten to them.”
The younger Walsh said it was his idea to talk to reporters about this issue after Duckworth began running the ads.
“I felt I had no other choice, but to come and try to convince people, show people how wrong these are,” Walsh Jr. said.
The younger Walsh said he was speaking for his brother and sister when he asked Duckworth to pull her ads.
Tuesday afternoon, Duckworth said, “I think Mr. Walsh is the only one who’s embarrassed his family. I also think that he has made this about character. I will not be lectured by a bully who has attacked numerous people in this district.”
The Duckworth campaign said the information cited in the ad is public record, and the ads will not be pulled.
Duckworth’s campaign also said Walsh has attacked her personally throughout the campaign – from her discussion of her military service, to her decision to attend the Democratic National Convention.