Former Illinois lawmaker to challenge Trump

Joe Walsh announces he will challenge Trump in the Republican presidential primary.

Ben Ariel,

Rep. Joe Walsh
Rep. Joe Walsh
Courtesy Joe Walsh

Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh announced on Sunday during an interview on ABC's "This Week" that he would be challenging President Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary.

"I'm going to run for president," Walsh told host George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview.

When Stephanopoulos pointed out the massive uphill climb Walsh has in front of him in the primary thanks to Trump's overwhelmingly high approval rating within the party, the former congressman argued that conservatives should have an alternative to the president.

"I'm running because he's 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," said Walsh, who was elected to the House in the 2010 Tea Party wave, but only served one term before becoming a conservative talk radio host.

But while Walsh has argued he plans to make a moral case against the president, Stephanopoulos asked the former congressman if he's the best person to make that argument given his long history of incendiary and controversial statements ranging from using racist slurs on Twitter to promoting falsehoods around former President Barack Obama's birth certificate and religion.

"I helped create Trump, and George, that's not an easy thing to say," Walsh replied. "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."

“I'm bearing my soul with you right now on national TV. We have a guy in the White House who's never apologized for anything he's done or said,” continued Walsh.

Throughout Sunday's interview, Walsh used harsh, inflammatory language to describe the president — calling him "incompetent," "nuts," "erratic," "narcissist," "bully," "coward," "completely unfit," "disloyal," and "un-American."

Walsh said his campaign plans to focus on New Hampshire and Iowa and will be on TV as much as he can with the hopes of his long-shot bid catching on.

With the announcement, Walsh became the second candidate seeking to unseat Trump. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld officially announced in April that he would be entering the race for president in 2020.

Both candidates face an uphill battle in the efforts to take down Trump, as history shows that presidents generally only face serious primary challenges when their approval rating within their own party is at 75% or below.




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