As the upcoming presidential election looms closer and closer, more candidates have emerged from the woodwork, primarily Democrats competing for the nomination for the Democrat ticket. Now, a well-known conservative, GOP member and former Illinois representative, Joe Walsh, has announced he will be running for president against President Donald Trump in the next 2020 election. The announcement was made on ABC’s “This Week.”
After an op-ed Walsh had written concerning Trump and his most recent decisions had gone viral, the radio talk show host had decided that he would announce his own candidacy.
“I’m running because he’s unfit; somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative,” said Walsh to ABC Chief News Anchor George Stephanopoulos. “The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum—he’s a child.”
Despite Walsh’s argument against Trump’s lack of morals, Walsh himself has been under fire for saying a number of insensitive and controversial remarks in the past, the most recent being in 2017. These comments diverge from tweets including racist slurs to a sexist criticism of Kamala Harris, tweeting “Senator Kamala Harris said something really dumb. Meh. If you’re black and a woman, you can say dumb things. Lowered bar.”
Walsh admits to making these comments, yet he states he has apologized and has much regret for them.
“I helped create Trump, and George, that’s not an easy thing to say. I went beyond the policy and the idea differences and I got personal and I got hateful,” said Walsh.
After being asked about Trump being removed from office, Walsh stated that he was in support of using the 25 Amendment to do so, citing that, “we’ve never had a situation like this. You can’t believe a word he says.”
While Walsh may dislike Trump’s lack of morality, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel disagreed.
“President Trump enjoys unprecedented support among Republicans. He has already delivered a long list of incredible accomplishments for conservatives and the country,” said McDaniel. “Republicans are firmly behind the president, and any effort to challenge him in a primary is bound to go absolutely nowhere.”
Trump’s approval rating within the GOP remains high, and Walsh’s likelihood of making it past the primary seems unlikely. Walsh has stated that his campaign is not entirely about winning the presidency, but about running as an alternative candidate for conservative Americans other than Trump.
Trump’s own campaign communications director sent ABC News a short response.
“Whatever,” said Tim Murtagh.
Other than Bill Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, Walsh is only the second Republican to run for president. Weld had announced his candidacy in April, but has a significantly smaller following compared to Walsh.
Walsh only held a single term in office after his election to Congress in 2010, yet his nationally acclaimed radio show and relatively large following on Twitter, maintain his relevancy and can increase his likelihood of winning the election.
Walsh intends to focus his campaign on the primary states of New Hampshire and Iowa in the next couple months, in the hopes that his bid for candidacy will serve as an alternative option to the GOP as a means to elect future presidents.
While Walsh may not win, his candidacy might raise attention to the rising dissent against Trump within the GOP.