That case was settled earlier this year, and Walsh said it was disturbing that Duckworth would seize on a private family matter in an attempt to sway voters.
"I know politics is rough, and I know I'm fair game," Walsh said. "But this is absolutely dirty."
"My call is to have some class, Tammy. Have some grace and pull these ads which are hurtful to my kids."
Duckworth said today that Walsh has attacked just about everyone in this district, whether it was Latinos, African Americans, women who want access to their contraception....He's attacked me from everything from the clothes that I wear to my military service."
"I think for him to now cry foul is very typical of a bully," she said. "They bully other people and when you point out their own problems, then they cry foul."
The ad controversy is the latest in the hotly-contested and highly negative 8th Congressional District race, which has featured millions of dollars in attack ads aimed at both Duckworth and Walsh.
One mailer Duckworth's campaign sent to 8th District residents reads "There's a name they call you when you don't pay your bills." It features a newspaper headline about the child support lawsuit and calls Walsh "Deadbeat Joe."
In April, Walsh resolved a lawsuit with his ex-wife in which she claimed he owed $117,437 in overdue child support and interest. As part of the settlement, the two sides declared that Walsh was never "a deadbeat dad."
Walsh also settled a suit with a former campaign manager, who claimed Walsh owed him $20,000. That's on top of a 2009 home foreclosure, tax liens and numerous driving suspensions that troubled his election bid two years ago. A separate mail piece lists a number of Walsh’s personal financial problems, including tax liens dating to the 1990s as well as his 2009 home foreclosure.
Walsh has said he is starting to turn his personal finances around, but "like a lot of people, I still have debt. Like a lot of people, I don't have a lot of assets." Tax returns Walsh released to the Tribune show that his income has jumped from $25,524 in 2008 to $174,210 in 2011, largely due to his congressional salary. Walsh said he didn't take the job to get rich, noting he would limit himself to three terms in office.
Today, Walsh accused Duckworth of trying to distract voters from the real issues, such as job creation, the economy and soaring national debt.
"If she thinks voters are more concerned with the personal financial issues that Joe Walsh has gone through than the financial issues voters are going through, then shame on her and she is going to lose," Walsh said. "She is terribly out of touch."
The race is among the most closely watched in the nation due to Walsh's status as a tea party firebrand and Duckworth's connections to the White House.