Thursday 19 September 2019

Talk-show host set to challenge 'nuts, erratic' Trump in 2020

Optimism: Joe Walsh has gone from being a fan of Trump to a critic in a couple of years. Photo: Reuters
Optimism: Joe Walsh has gone from being a fan of Trump to a critic in a couple of years. Photo: Reuters

Tom Davies

A former Illinois congressman and Tea Party favourite has become the second Republican to challenge US President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020, saying the incumbent is unfit for office.

Joe Walsh, now a radio talk-show host, said: "He's nuts. He's erratic. He's cruel. He stokes bigotry. He's incompetent. He doesn't know what he's doing."

Mr Walsh portrayed himself as a legitimate alternative in party where he said many are opposed to Mr Trump but are "scared to death" of saying so publicly. His campaign slogan: "Be brave."

Polls shows Mr Trump is backed by most Republican voters, and the lone rival already in the race is former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, the 2016 Libertarian Party vice-presidential nominee who is regarded as fiscally conservative but socially liberal.

Undeterred from pressing ahead with his candidacy, Mr Walsh said: "I think this thing... will catch on like wildfire."

The former Mr Trump supporter added: "I'm a conservative and I think there's a decent chance to present to Republican voters a conservative without all the baggage."

Mr Walsh narrowly won a House of Representatives seat from suburban Chicago in the 2010 Tea Party wave but lost a 2012 re-election bid. He has a history of inflammatory statements regarding Muslims and others and declared just before the 2016 election that if Mr Trump lost: "I'm grabbing my musket."

But he has since soured on Mr Trump, criticising the president over growth of the federal deficit and writing in a 'New York Times' column that the president was "a racial arsonist who encourages bigotry and xenophobia".

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News