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Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward'

Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonTucker Carlson bashes CNN, claims it's 'more destructive' than QAnon Former Trump officials eye bids for political office Jill Biden picks up where she left off MORE escalated his criticism of Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthSenate Democrats call on GAO to review child care access barriers for disabled parents, kids Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Lawmakers commemorate one-year anniversary of Arbery's killing MORE (D-Ill.) on Tuesday night, calling her a “coward” for refusing to come on his show without a public apology.

The Fox News host said his show reached out to the Illinois Democrat’s office to invite her on the program to have a “vigorous, reasoned exchange between adults.” But he said a representative “informed us that before even considering our request, we must first issue a public apology for criticizing” the senator.

“Keep in mind that Tammy Duckworth is not a child, at least not technically — she is a sitting United States senator, who is often described as a hero,” he said. “Yet Duckworth is too afraid to defend her own statements on a cable TV show. What a coward.”

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Carlson and Duckworth have been feuding since the Fox News host criticized her for backing a “national dialogue” on whether to remove memorials for George Washington in a Sunday CNN interview because the former president owned slaves.

“You’re not supposed to criticize Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military,” Carlson said during his monologue on his Monday show. “Most people just ignore her. But when Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is.”

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“It’s long been considered out of bounds to question a person’s patriotism. It’s a very strong charge, and we try not ever to make it. But in the face of all of this, the conclusion can’t be avoided. These people actually hate America. There’s no longer a question about that,” he said.

Duckworth hit back at Carlson’s comments in a tweet, asking if the Fox News host wanted “to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America.” 

The senator is a combat veteran who lost her legs in 2004 after a Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting in Iraq was shot down.

On his Tuesday show, Carlson criticized Duckworth’s comments, saying, “That’s what passes for an argument in modern identity politics.” 

“They don’t address the points that you make,” he said. “They question your right to make them at all.” 

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“George Washington was a genuinely great man,” Carlson added. “But to morons like Tammy Duckworth, Washington is just some old white guy who needs to be erased. Let’s tear down his statues and rename our capital city Sharpton or Mandela and let the revolution continue.”

Duckworth’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday night.

The senator had previously condemned President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE for his speech at the Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore, saying his “priorities are all wrong.” She claimed he spent “more time worried about honoring dead Confederates” than addressing those who died during the coronavirus pandemic.

Duckworth is considered a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE this year.

Biden praised Duckworth during a virtual fundraiser Tuesday that she attended, lauding the senator for her "courage" in the face of criticism.