Sen. Tammy Duckworth defended Tucker Carlson’s right to be ‘obnoxious’

'When you love the Constitution and you love this country ... you must agree to defend the rights of the likes of Tucker Carlson to lie about you.'

July 22, 2020

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Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) has been on the receiving end of some harsh attacks by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson after Duckworth said a discussion was to be had when it came to Confederate monuments. Carlson called her a “coward” and a “fraud” and said she despises the country even though Duckworth was the first female soldier to lose both her legs in the Iraq War and was the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office.

But guess who is standing up for Carlson’s right to express those opinions: Duckworth, herself.

Duckworth was asked about Carlson during an appearance on CNN Tuesday. She said, “Well, when you love the Constitution and you love this country as much as I do, so much so that you’re willing to lay down your life to protect and defend her, then you must agree to defend the rights of the likes of Tucker Carlson to lie about you. I truly believe in freedom of speech.”

She did call Carlson “obnoxious,” but added, “If you truly love America, and you truly love the Constitution, then you have to stand up for people’s right to express their opinions, even loathsome ones that are lies that you don’t agree with.”

She added, “If they want to call me back up, I’ll put my uniform back on, throw my rucksack back on my shoulder, and I’ll go back to combat to defend his right to be odious.”

Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer. For the latest media news and analysis, delivered free to your inbox each and every weekday morning, sign up for his Poynter Report newsletter.