He’s all in: Former congressman Joe Walsh announces primary challenge against Trump

August 27, 2019

Former congressman Joe Walsh (R-Illinois) announced on ABC’s This Week Sunday that he would challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 primary—becoming the third Republican to go up against the POTUS, after former Massachusetts Governor William Weld and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford announced they were in the race during April and August, respectively.

According to a report by The Washington Post, Walsh, a talk-radio host, was elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the conservative Tea Party wave and served one term. He has described himself as an immigration hard-liner and said he would not challenge Trump from the center but from the right and on moral grounds.

“I’m going to run for president,” Walsh told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, charging that the president is “incompetent,” “a bigot” and “a narcissist.”

When Stephanopoulos pushed back, pointing out that Walsh, himself, had a long history of racist and controversial statements, the new candidate said, “I helped create Trump, and George, that’s not an easy thing to say,” noting,  “I went beyond the policy and the idea differences and I got personal and I got hateful. I said some ugly things about President Obama that I regret.”

Like another Republican who recently turned on Trump— former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci—Walsh would not be averse to invoking the 25th Amendment in order to remove the “unfit”  president from office. He told Stephanopoulos that the amendment should be  “looked at” because “we’ve never had a situation like this. You can’t believe a word he says.”

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld welcomed Walsh’s entry into the race, saying on NBC’s Meet the Press, “It’s going to be a more robust conversation. Who knows? The networks might even cover Republican primary debates.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost

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