Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) criticized President Trump’s 4th of July speech at Mount Rushmore for focusing on the accomplishments of historical figures.
“He spent all of his time talking about dead traitors,” Duckworth, a potential Biden vice president pick, told CNN in an interview.
In his speech, President Trump listed numerous historical figures and celebrities who played a large role in American history. Among those listed were the founding fathers, the presidents of Mount Rushmore, Fredwrick Douglass, Ulysses S. Grant, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, and Elvis Presley.
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children,” President Trump said, as he highlighted the accomplishments of notable Americans.
“Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity, so that we can no longer understand ourselves or America’s destiny. In toppling the heroes of 1776, they seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country, and that we feel for each other. Their goal is not a better America, their goal is the end of America,” he continued.
A full list of the people mentioned in the speech was published on Twitter by one of President Trump’s campaign staffers. In the tweet, he calls for Duckworth to clarify her statement about “dead traitors.”
“This a list of the men and women President @realDonaldTrump talked about in his speech at Mount Rushmore,” Giancarlo Sopo wrote. “Senator, please do tell the nation, who among them do you consider a ‘dead traitor’?”
This a list of the men and women President @realDonaldTrump talked about in his speech at Mount Rushmore.
Senator, please do tell the nation, who among them do you consider a “dead traitor”? https://t.co/NfJJ3bw0tf pic.twitter.com/HxwJaWOMWB
— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) July 5, 2020
Duckworth’s “dead traitor” comment was not her only complaint. She also chastised President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s COVID-19 response, claiming their task force “failed miserably” and that worry should be centered on other pressing issues rather than “our historical past.”
“He spent more time worried about dead Confederates than he did talking about the 130,000 Americans with COVID-19 or by warning Russia or the bounty they are putting on Americans’ heads,” she said. “His priorities are all wrong here.”
Duckworth, who continuously dodged the interviewer’s question about whether it is okay to pull down George Washington statues, also criticized the location of the Independence Day speech.
“Remember that the President at Mount Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty,” she said.
Tweets from Duckworth’s account show that her position on the historical significance of Mount Rushmore has changed. On July 4, 2015, the senator tweeted a photo of herself and others in festive and patriotic costumes.
“All dressd up as historic figures.I just coverd myself in Stars&Stripes. Next year I’m going as Mt.Rushmore!” she wrote.
All dressd up as historic figures.I just coverd myself in Stars&Stripes.Next year I’m going as Mt.Rushmore! #Murica http://t.co/81LENocKij
— Tammy Duckworth (@TammyDuckworth) July 4, 2015