Challenging an incumbent president in a primary is typically an uphill battle. However, this well-known fact didn’t deter former Illinois congressman and conservative radio host Joe Walsh from announcing his candidacy for president on August 25, 2019.
Walsh was elected to Congress in 2010 during the Tea Party wave. Like former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci, he has staunchly supported President Donald J. Trump in the past, but has recently made a complete 180 degree turn.
On the day he announced his bid for the White House, Walsh sat down with ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos. Lashing out at Trump, Walsh said, “We’ve got a guy in the White House who is unfit, completely unfit to be president and it stuns me that nobody stepped up, nobody in the Republican Party stepped up, because I’ll tell you what George, everybody believes in the Republican Party, everybody believes he’s unfit.”
Explaining his motives for seeking the presidency, the former GOP congressman remarked, “I’m running because [Trump is] unfit, somebody needs to step up, and there needs to be an alternative. The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum. He’s a child. Again, the litany. He lies every time he opens his mouth. Look at what’s happened this week. The president of the United States is tweeting us into a recession.”
Continuing, Walsh stated, “I can tell you, George, that most of my former colleagues up on the hill, they agree privately with everything I’m saying publicly. They’re scared to death.”
In a tweet announcing his campaign, the conservative radio host commented, “Friends, I’m in. We can’t take four more years of Donald Trump. And that’s why I’m running for President. It won’t be easy, but bravery is never easy. But together, we can do it. Join me… join us: go to http://joewalsh.org . Let’s show the world we’re ready to be brave.”
During a sit-down on the August 26, 2019 broadcast of left-leaning MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Walsh predicted the GOP would lose miserably in 2020 if they remain determined to go with Trump as the Republican nominee.
The former Illinois congressman commented, “[Trump]’s unqualified. He’s unfit. He’s a child. He’s reckless. He’s erratic. He’s a narcissist. If he’s our nominee in 2020, the Republican Party is going to get spanked, because young people don’t like Trump. Women don’t like Trump and people who live in the suburbs don’t like Trump.”
Walsh maintained that the Tea Party and Republicans are at fault for Trump’s rise to the White House. During the “Morning Joe” interview, the 2020 presidential candidate expressed remorse that his personal political views helped make Trump the president.
“Look, I think I’m partly responsible for Trump and that’s kind of a scary thing to say,” he said. “I think two things got Trump elected. The Republican Party establishment was out of touch with their voters. And Trump took advantage of that. He touched upon this issue of people in this country illegally. The Republican Party ignored that issue.”
Walsh went on to say, “The other part that got Trump elected was — I was part of the Tea Party class of 2010… we got ahead of ourselves and we engaged in this politics of personal destruction… Those personal attacks that we got into too much, I think led to the personification of Trump… I feel pretty darn responsible for having him in the White House.”
The 2020 presidential candidate contended that his admission of wrongdoing for his past political decisions should be viewed as a positive. Walsh stated in part, “Correct me if I’m wrong, this man’s never apologized for anything. So here I am in front of you this morning — yes, raising my hands. I helped put Trump in the White House. I’m ashamed of that. I feel terrible about that. I’m going to try to redeem myself about that. But most importantly, the country can’t let this guy get… reelected. We’re being run right now by a child.”
In addition to Walsh, Bill Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts, is vying to unseat Trump in the GOP primary. Weld announced his intensions of making a White House run in April of this year. Certainly, no one expects either Walsh or Weld to be the 2020 Republican nominee. But, they could give the eventual Democratic nominee fodder to attack Trump with during a general election campaign.