CHICAGO — The National Republican Senatorial Committee briefly posted a tweet Tuesday that said a Democratic candidate from Illinois who lost both legs as an Army helicopter pilot "has a sad record of not standing up" for veterans.
NRSC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek acknowledged the tweet about U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth was a mistake that was deleted "within minutes."
"It would be great if reporters would pay as much attention to a deleted tweet as they should" to other issues in the race, she added in an emailed statement.
The tweet was recirculated on social media and appeared on political blogs. Duckworth's campaign noted it as a "disgraceful attack" in an afternoon email soliciting campaign donations.
Duckworth is seeking the Democratic nomination in next week's Illinois primary for a chance to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican seeking a second term.
"Tammy has made fighting for veterans her life's work, and will continue to do so in the Senate," said Duckworth campaign spokesman Matt McGrath, who called the tweet "tasteless and dishonest."
Duckworth, who held state and federal veterans affairs positions, lost her legs and part of an arm after a Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting in 2004 was shot down in Iraq.