News and Commentary

Duckworth Rips Mount Rushmore, Wants ‘National Dialogue’ About Removing Washington Statues. Here’s What She Said Running For Senate Five Years Ago.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) speaks during a weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on August 21, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

On Sunday, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), one of the women being discussed as a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, signaled that she was open to the idea of taking down monuments to the Founding Fathers.

“[T]here are leaders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who were slave owners, and some people are demanding that their monuments come down, too,” CNN’s Dana Bash said to the senator. “So, in your view, where does it end? Should statues, for example, of George Washington come down?”

“Well, let me just say that we should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point,” Duckworth replied.

Bash pressed again about moves by some people to remove statues of President George Washington. Duckworth again was not opposed to the idea, answering, “I think we should listen to everybody. I think we should listen to the argument there.”

Then, referring to President Trump’s speech over the weekend, Duckworth ripped Mount Rushmore, saying, “But remember that the president at Mount Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty.”

While Duckworth seems to be open to ridding the nation of statues of the man who is largely regarded as one of the two greatest presidents in American history (Abraham Lincoln being the other), and in the mood to rip Mount Rushmore, she appeared to hold a far different view in July 2015, three months after she announced she would challenge incumbent U.S. GOP Senator Mark Kirk for his seat.

On the afternoon of July 4, 2015,  Duckworth posted a picture of herself decked out in clothing adorned with the American flag as she tweeted a sentiment quite different from her comments after President Trump visited Mount Rushmore, “All dressd up as historic figures. I just coverd myself in Stars&Stripes. Next year I’m going as Mt. Rushmore. #Murica.”

On June 3, Duckworth released a video in which she raged against President Trump, saying:

Last night I watched as President Trump having gassed peaceful protesters, just so he could do this photo-op, then he went on to tear gas priests who were helping protesters in Lafayette Park. And then he went on to remove a member of the clergy and a layman from the church patio so he could have his photo-op. And as he was walking there, he was followed behind him (sic) by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in military fatigues and the Secretary of Defense walking along like lap dogs behind a draft-dodging wannabe tin-pot dictator. And I was appalled by this Commander-in-Chief was flying Black Hawk helicopters above Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.

She addressed Trump directly, fulminating, “How dare you politicize our military? Our military is the most diverse institution in this country. Our military is one of the final places where Americans have nothing but greatest respect. How dare you pervert the honor of our military by threatening to use them against their fellow Americans.”

She concluded, “I’m sickened to the core by this man.”

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