How far some in the tea party have fallen. Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) says he is seriously considering a truly delusional primary challenge against President Donald Trump in 2020. Sure, he may have nearly 200,000 Twitter followers, but Walsh doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell against the president, especially on the Trump Derangement Syndrome ticket. As Stephen Kruiser noted in the Morning Briefing, Walsh is a “useful idiot” for CNN.
“I’m strongly, strongly considering it. That’s — again, I’m not trying to be cute or coy. I’ve told you before — if somebody’s going to get in there and go after him … it’s got to be done soon,” Walsh told CNN’s John Berman on New Day. “You’re running out of time. But more importantly, these are not conventional times. Look at the guy in the White House. These are urgent times.”
Of Trump, Walsh said, “He’s a horrible human being. He’s a bad, bad guy.”
Former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh says he is "strongly, strongly considering" entering the 2020 race to challenge President Trump: “He’s a horrible human being. He’s a bad, bad guy.” https://t.co/LR0dYRonVp pic.twitter.com/UuOvyhFcwG
— CNN (@CNN) August 22, 2019
Now a conservative radio host apparently suffering from TDS (someone get him a Supreme Court justice ASAP!), Walsh served one term in Congress as a tea party champion, from 2011 to 2013. After firmly supporting Trump in the 2016 election, he did an about-face last summer.
“President Donald Trump. Still really cool to say out loud,” he tweeted after Trump’s victory.
President Donald Trump.
Still really cool to say out loud.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) November 9, 2016
Last week, Walsh apologized for his role in helping elect an “unfit con man” to the White House. He claimed to have only voted for Trump because he was not Hillary Clinton, and explained that his opinion on Trump turned around after the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. The tipping point? Trump agreeing with Putin that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election.
Walsh recently called Trump a “crybaby.”
Have we ever had a bigger crybaby in the White House? https://t.co/svbmjDjOKX
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 21, 2019
He has also called Trump “unfit to be president.”
You wake up this morning reminded again that Donald Trump is completely unfit to be President. But what’s most disappointing once again this morning is the continued cowardly silence of Congressional Republicans in the face of this overwhelming truth.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 21, 2019
In a particularly dumb move, if he were running for president, Walsh alienated every Republican who has remained silent about the president’s rhetoric.
“Republican silence, with what we’re hearing come out of this President’s mouth every single day, is shameful. And damn near unforgivable,” he tweeted.
Republican silence, with what we’re hearing come out of this President’s mouth every single day, is shameful. And damn near unforgivable.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 22, 2019
If Walsh is seriously considering running in the Republican primary against Trump, why would he alienate the very Republican voters he needs to beat Trump?
Trump is a virtual shoo-in for the Republican nomination. According to Gallup, a whopping 88 percent of Republicans approve of his job in office. Convincing these Republicans to nominate someone besides the sitting president of the United States is damn near impossible.
If a conservative tea party candidate were to launch a serious challenge from the right, he or she would focus on Trump’s failure to address ballooning deficits and his failure to fulfill the promise of cutting 22 old regulations for every new one. That said, the president has more than fulfilled many other promises, from nominating originalist Supreme Court justices (and many lower court judges) to defending human life against abortion to issuing the fewest new regulations in administrative state history.
Trump is far from perfect, but the attacks from Joe Walsh do not advance conservative policies or stand a chance at convincing Republicans to drop their champion in the face of an increasingly radical and unhinged Democratic Party. In fact, the liberal media only gives Walsh air time so he can parrot their character attacks on the president.
Yet some outlets — Axios, for example — have noted Joe Walsh’s extreme rhetoric, suggesting Walsh would be better than Trump on the character score.
Even former Gov. Bill Weld (R-Mass.) — who endorsed Obama in 2008 and “vouched” for Hillary Clinton in 2016 even though he was technically running against her on the Libertarian ticket — stands a better chance against Trump. At least Weld’s brand of liberal Republican is actually unhappy with some of Trump’s policies.
At the end of the day, anyone who thinks Joe Walsh or Bill Weld has a chance of unseating Trump is kidding himself. Even National Review, which ran the “Never Trump” issue attempting to stop Trump in 2016, has conceded that “the right is satisfied,” so there will be no real challenger to the president.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.