A slew of Twitter users pointed out the poor wording of the tweet, which was quickly deleted. Duckworth is a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq War who lost both of her legs in combat and the first disabled woman elected to the House.
Asked for comment, an NRSC spokeswoman provided TPM a statement criticizing the media for covering the tweet.
“It would be great if reporters would pay as much attention to a deleted tweet as they should to Tammy Duckworth being sued by VA whistleblowers for ignoring claims of mistreatment and corruption," the statement said.
Duckworth's Senate campaign called the NRSC tweet "vile" and fired back at incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).
"Tasteless and dishonest, just like everything else to do with Mark Kirk’s flailing campaign," spokesman Matt McGrath said in a statement to TPM. "Tammy has made fighting for Veterans her life’s work, and will continue to do so in the Senate.”
The Kirk campaign said in a statement to TPM that "the simple truth" of Duckworth's record "is marked by failure and poor judgement that has put veterans at risk."
"In April, Rep. Duckworth is going to trial on charges that she attempted to silence Veterans' Affairs whistleblowers who were only trying to stop the abuse and mistreatment of Illinois veterans," Kirk's campaign manager Kevin Artl said in a statement. "Yesterday, another set of VA whistleblowers alleged that Cong. Duckworth ignored their concerns."