Election 2020

Joe Walsh Isn't Running on the Issues

The conservative radio host says he is running for president because Trump is “erratic" and "cruel." But Walsh has his own history to live down.


Joe Walsh, the former one-term congressman from Illinois and current conservative talk radio host, announced on Sunday that he will challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020.

"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," Walsh said on ABC's This Week. 

"What are we really getting done?" he asked host George Stephanopoulos. "We haven't built one foot of a wall. This president, who said 'I'm gonna eliminate the debt in eight years,' has increased the debt at a faster clip than Obama."

Walsh has been particularly vocal about the latter point. Writing in The New York Times, he said that the only time the bulk of his conservative audience parted with Trump was when the president "ballooned the deficit" after signing the omnibus spending bill in 2017. "Fiscal responsibility is an issue the American electorate cares about, but that our elected officials disregard from the top down — including the Tea Party in the Trump era."

Trump did indeed campaign on reducing the national debt within eight years, which is why Republicans like Walsh—who says he voted for Trump—have become increasingly jaded as they've watched the debt and the deficit expand at a rapid pace. In 2018, a bipartisan budget deal approved $1.3 trillion in spending, sending the national debt past $22 trillion. Just last month, Trump heralded another bipartisan spending deal⁠—one that suspends debt ceilings until 2021 and is set to add $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

Walsh seems serious about reining in excessive spending, but he hasn't announced a plan for doing so. He told Stephanopoulos that Trump's rhetoric is more pressing than the issues.

"This is not about issues," he said. "I would not be thinking about primarying this president if I was upset with his position on the debt and the deficit."

For Walsh, that might be a tough sell, as the conservative radio firebrand has his own history of incendiary remarks and politically charged insults. Not unlike Trump, he promoted the "birther" theory that alleged former President Obama was born abroad, and he was temporarily removed from the radio in 2014 after using a series of racial slurs.

He also propagated the false claim that Obama is Muslim, tweeted that the former president was elected "because he's black," and echoed Trump's sentiment that Haiti is a "shithole country."

Walsh apologized on This Week. "I helped create Trump, and George, that's not an easy thing to say," he said. "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."

NEXT: The Price of an Erratic President

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  2. But Walsh has his own history to live down.

    But the rocky mountain way is better than the way we have.

    1. …or standin’ at the station, out at the end of the line.

  3. >>Haiti is a shithole and it’s run by blacks. The violence in Chicago is all black on black .
    >>Those aren’t racist statements. They’re just facts.

    those are racist statements. Haiti is run by people. people from Chicago commit violence against other people from Chicago. these are facts. idiot.

    1. That might have been a response to the oft-suggested notion that if only Black people were in charge of the major cities, everything would be better. Or women in charge of everything and so on.

      Now, if he’d have been making the point that it’s a shithole because it were run by blacks (which some people have done) then yes, it’s racist.

      In this day and age, I don’t accept any short single statement snippet as racist without the full context. Because so much has been done to so many by taking things out of context.

  4. So this renders the podcast post moot then.

  5. The conservative radio host says he is running for president because Trump is “erratic” and “cruel.” But Walsh has his own history to live down.

    We ALL have our own history to live down since 2006 when Twitter was invented.

    1. Not if you didn’t think Twitter was useful in any way. Only read tweets in news articles. it’s a stupid platform.

      1. From my experience there’s a bunch of people who have a history to live down that includes telling the world what sandwich they are having for lunch.

  6. Joe Walsh is only doing this for the publicity. He knows the media (like Reason is doing here) will latch onto any Republican criticizing Trump regardless of how insignificant he may be.

    1. “Joe Walsh is only doing this for the publicity.”

      What else do you expect from a musician turned politician turned radio host? This guy’s most famous song as a solo artist is a self-referential ode to how supposedly great he is.

      It’s no wonder The Dude in the Big Lebowski couldn’t stand the Eagles.

    2. If you cannot out-do Trump on the issues, then you will be considered a joke candidate and that what Walsh and Weld are.

  7. This conservacon is a wolf putting on a sheep costume right in front of the TV camera!

  8. Walsh said that many members of the same party believe that Trump should not be on the post of president. According to the politician, he is not ready to endure another four years of Trump’s presidency, so he decided to join the race for the post of head of the United States. A very risky move. I hope he succeeds. The site will always support Joe Walsh in the future.

  9. Well, at least he’ll have name recognition, although he’s not actually the Joe Walsh most people think of.

    1. Who….and Who?

  10. “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,” Walsh said on ABC’s This Week.
    If Joe Walsh is running because Trump is unfit to run then Joe might need to rethink his bid because he is unqualified. In his lifetime Joe has not done as much for the US as Trump has done in his sleep.

  11. “Joe Walsh Isn’t Running on the Issues”

    So? No one else is either.

  12. “Issues?”
    Since when do American politicians run on “issues?”
    They run on sophistry, emotions and feelings.

    1. And “campaign contributions”; don’t forget “campaign contributions”.
      If there were any actual reporters left, one of them would be publishing the net worth of a candidate upon being elected to federal office, and their net worth at each reelection, and upon retirement.
      Say starting with Pelosi and Sanders.
      How many houses does each socialist own without letting the homeless live in any of them? How much of their book deal windfalls were taxed away to feed the huddled masses?

  13. Walsh ran because Bill Kristol still has access to Establishment dollars and needed a “Republican” meat puppet to attack Trump.

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