Duckworth: Roskam Owes AARP, Local Seniors an Apology
Sixth District Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth today called on her opponent to apologize to the AARP, and to senior citizens across the district, for "rubber-stamping" national party talking points in his candidate questionnaire.
According to the Associated Press, Roskam was one of seven congressional candidates across the country who submitted virtually identical language in response to an AARP questionnaire on issues affecting senior citizens, including Social Security and Medicare (Associated Press, 8/31/2006).
The cribbed responses mirrored talking points provided to Republican candidates by the National Republican Congressional Committee - the same group that has spent more than $250,000 in negative mailings attacking Duckworth on Roskam's behalf.
"One of the most important lessons my parents taught me was to respect your elders," Duckworth said. "Peter Roskam disrespected the AARP and senior citizens across this district by trying to pass off his national party's talking points as his own."
"What should be even more concerning to seniors across this district is evidence that Roskam will rubber-stamp an agenda that puts their financial security at risk," Duckworth said.
"In this campaign, Roskam has taken tens of thousands of dollars from Congressional sponsors of the bill to privatize Social Security," Duckworth said. "Even more telling, when Roskam had a chance to vote in Springfield last year to oppose Social Security privatization, he took a walk. Seniors have every right to wonder if he'll take a walk on their concerns if elected to Congress."
Duckworth also criticized Roskam's support for the Medicare Part D plan passed by Congress that bans the government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices -- as the Veterans Administration does routinely, saving billions of dollars.
"The ban that Peter Roskam supported has resulted in a huge, windfall profit for the drug companies while driving the federal budget billions deeper into debt," Duckworth said.
"I admire the senior citizens who built this country and defended it bravely in times of war," Duckworth said. "In Congress, I would work to serve those who've served the rest of us so well."
"Apparently, Peter Roskam thinks that all he owes our seniors is plagiarized responses to their questions," Duckworth said. "They deserve an independent advocate in Congress, not just a partisan rubber-stamp."