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Son of Walsh, dubbed ‘Deadbeat Joe,’ calls him ‘wonderful father’

Congressman Joe Walsh his sJoey (speaking behalf his siblings) held press conference today respond recent attack ads Congressman Walsh his

Congressman Joe Walsh and his son Joey (speaking on behalf of his siblings) held a press conference today to respond to the recent attack ads on Congressman Walsh and his family currently being aired by the Tammy Duckworth Campaign. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: February 11, 2013 5:20PM

U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh’s oldest son stood beside his father Tuesday and called on Democrat Tammy Duckworth to pull an attack ad describing the Tea Party Republican as “Deadbeat Joe.”

The congressman looked up at his 25-year-old namesake and introduced him to reporters as “this tall young man here, my son Joey.” His son said Duckworth could never understand “the pain you cause our family.”

“Please, Ms. Duckworth,” said the younger Walsh, “try to win this campaign by focusing on issues where you disagree with our dad. But don’t attack him as a father. He is and was a wonderful father.”

Walsh’s son said it was his idea to speak to reporters Tuesday, and he had to persuade his father to let him do it. He also spoke on behalf of his 21-year-old sister Megan and 18-year-old brother Patrick.

Duckworth is running against Walsh for the seat in the north and northwest suburban 8th Congressional District. It is one of the nation’s hottest U.S. House races, one that could influence the balance of power in Congress.

Duckworth said Walsh’s decision to cry foul is “very typical of a bully.”

“They bully other people, and when you point out their own problems, then they cry foul,” Duckworth said in a statement. “Congressman Walsh, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times and many other media outlets, was sued last year for child support by his ex-wife. He is now trying to make himself the victim and claiming that this well-known fact is somehow not true.”

Duckworth’s ads feature headlines about Walsh’s court battle with his ex-wife during which she sought more than $100,000 in child support. The estranged couple settled the case in April and issued a statement that he is not and never was a “deadbeat dad.”

On Tuesday the elder Walsh said Duckworth had sunk to a “new low that I had hoped would not be reached by her” by attacking his family. But Duckworth said Walsh has attacked “just about everyone in this district.” And a spokesman for her campaign said the ads are staying up.

“Congressman Walsh has attacked me personally throughout this campaign on everything from my military service to the clothes I wear,” Duckworth said. “I refuse to be lectured on personal responsibility by a politician who has failed to meet his own responsibilities.”

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