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Liberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP

 ·  Zack Budryk, The Hill   ·   Link to Article

VoteVets, a left-leaning political action committee that works to elect veterans, called on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to name Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) as his vice presidential candidate in a video Monday.

The video touts Duckworth’s military record, including her service as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot in Iraq. Duckworth, the first disabled woman elected to the Senate, lost both legs in 2004 after her helicopter was shot down.

“Tammy’s tough, and will take it to the coward in chief,” the video’s narrator says, over footage of President Trump quipping that he “always wanted to get the Purple Heart,” as well as footage of Duckworth calling Trump “President Bonespurs” and a “five-deferment draft-dodger.”

The video also says Duckworth “opens doors to new voters,” citing her victory in the Midwest in 2016, the same year Trump won several Rust Belt states no Republican presidential candidate had carried in years.

“Tammy Duckworth is the American dream, and knows how to land a punch,” the ad says, over a clip of her predecessor, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), mocking her in a 2016 debate for noting that her ancestors fought in the American Revolution, saying “I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."

"Mike Pence won't know what hit him," the narrator adds.

The video comes as Duckworth has been one of the most vocal Democrats in the chamber in demanding further information on reports that Russian officials paid Taliban-linked militants bounties to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. Duckworth, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called on Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to hold Senate hearings on the allegations.

Duckworth previously joined Biden in a video chat announcing the presumptive Democratic nominee’s disability policy plan, praising the campaign for proposing “full inclusion of people with disabilities in policy development.”

Biden has said he will name a woman to the ticket, with top contenders reportedly including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.). The Hill has reached out to Duckworth’s office for comment.