CNN's Roberts asked Duckworth if her primary victory signaled failed strategy

Video ››› ››› JOSH KALVEN

CNN correspondent John Roberts asked Democratic congressional candidate and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth if her "narrow victory" in the recent Illinois primary election indicated "that maybe this idea of running Iraq war vets for the Democratic Party isn't as hot an idea as some Democrats originally thought it was?" Roberts later noted that some political analysts -- whom he emphatically described as "very smart" -- "don't think that the Iraq war veteran thing is going to work for the Democratic Party, that you're not going to win the overall race, and that you're being held out there as sacrificial lambs just to get the Democrats a little more credibility."

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On the March 24 edition of CNN's American Morning, CNN senior national correspondent John Roberts asked Democratic congressional candidate and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth if her "narrow victory" in the recent Illinois primary election indicated "that maybe this idea of running Iraq war vets for the Democratic Party isn't as hot an idea as some Democrats originally thought it was?" Later in the interview, Roberts noted that some political analysts -- whom he emphatically described as "very smart" -- "don't think that the Iraq war veteran thing is going to work for the Democratic Party, that you're not going to win the overall race, and that you're being held out there as sacrificial lambs just to get the Democrats a little more credibility."

Duckworth garnered 44 percent of the vote to win the March 21 primary for the Sixth Congressional District. Her opponents, Christine Cegelis and Lindy Scott, took 40 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

From the March 24 edition of CNN's American Morning:

ROBERTS: Iraq war veterans could make their political mark on the midterm elections. Ten of them are running for Congress, all but one of those are Democrats.

Major Tammy Duckworth, an Army pilot, helicopter pilot, lost both legs in Iraq and the partial use of one arm. She won the Democratic primary this week in the race for the House seat held by Illinois Republican Henry Hyde, who is retiring this year.

Tammy Duckworth joins us now from Chicago. Good morning to you, and thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

DUCKWORTH: Good morning, John. Thanks for having me here.

ROBERTS: Good to talk with you. Hey, a tough question right out of the box, here: It was a very narrow victory that you had in your Democratic primary contest. Is that an indication that maybe this idea of running Iraq war vets for the Democratic Party isn't as hot an idea as some Democrats originally thought it was?

DUCKWORTH: Well, I've had 44 percent in a three-way race. That's pretty darn good. I think that the results at the race more reflected the dynamic personalities that were in the race. Christine Cegelis, the -- my opponent who got 40 percent -- was a vibrant, dynamic person. And I think it was just more a wealth of great candidates.

I think this is the first time this district has a chance to elect a Democrat. The first time in 32 years for the Republicans to finally lose their grip on this district. And, you know, I think it's more a referendum on that than it is on anything else. It was an exciting race. People were excited by the fact that there were two strong candidates. And, you know, I'll take a win wherever I can get it.

ROBERTS: Right. Well, certainly the Democrats are looking for some credibility on this issue of national security because polls historically, and particularly over the last few years, have shown that Republicans score much better on the issue of national security than Democrats. But there are some very smart political analysts who don't think that the Iraq war veteran thing is going to work for the Democratic Party, that you're not going to win the overall race, and that you're being held out there as sacrificial lambs just to get the Democrats a little more credibility and get that antiwar message across in this election.

DUCKWORTH: Well, you know, I'm going to let the pundits who get paid to analyze this race on a national level go at it. I'm just worried about the Sixth Congressional District. And I think the fact that I did win on Tuesday was a referendum from the voters for the issues that I'm fighting on -- health care.

I've been talking about health care this whole time, you know. I mean, these are issues that affect the people in this district. The fact that there are kids who don't have access to health insurance, we need to be expanding S-CHIP [the State Children's Health Insurance Program]. The fact that there are 25 percent of Americans between 50 and 64 who don't have access to health insurance, we need to let them buy into the federal employee health care system. And we certainly need to fix the entire mess made out of Medicare Part D by this administration. So that's what I'm worried about.

Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
John Roberts
Show/Publication
American Morning
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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