Former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh took to his Twitter account this morning to criticize first lady Michelle Obama for planning to attend the funeral of young Chicago shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton.
In his first of two tweets directed at the first lady, Walsh wrote, “‘Heartbroken’ Michelle Obama attending funeral of Hadiya Pendleton. I guess the other 553 murder victims didn’t break her heart. (1/2)”
Walsh’s follow-up tweet reads: “Most of the 553 Chicago murder victims in 2012 & 2013 were young black males. Is she attending this funeral to make a political point? (2/2)”
Fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was gunned down January 29th just a mile from the president’s Chicago home.
Pendleton was in Washington, D.C. a week before her death for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. She performed in the parade with her high school band.
Pendleton’s story has received national coverage, and the young teen has become a symbol of Chicago gun violence, drawing national attention.
There were more than 500 homicides in the city just last year alone.
In 2012, during his run for re-election in Illinois, Walsh, a Republican, blasted his Democratic opponent Tammy Duckworth for being a “failed bureaucrat” and for talking too often about her war experiences. Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran and previously led Obama’s Department of Veteran Affairs.
Duckworth won the congressional race against Walsh handily in November.
Walsh has made controversial comments about the Obamas on several occasions.
While a still a congressman in August 2011, Walsh likened President Obama to that of a disobedient teenager.
“The president is like a teenage boy who had a big party and trashed his parents’ house while his parents were gone,” Walsh said during an interview with Bill Hemmer on Fox News’ America Live. “Then he gets really upset when his parents come back home and make him clean up the mess. These troublesome House Republicans were sent to Washington to help the president clean up this mess.”
Shortly after Walsh was named among Congress’ thirteen “most corrupt” representatives by the group Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington (CREW) in September of 2011, Walsh declared that the media “protect” Obama because he is black.
Less than a year later, Walsh admitted that Obama is a “historical figure” but followed up that statement by stating the president was only elected because he is African-American in May of 2012.
Pendleton’s funeral is being held this Saturday at Calahan Funeral Home near her home in Chicago.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.