Former Illinois Representative, Republican Joe Walsh, on Sunday announced the launch of his presidential primary to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
“I’m going to run for president,” Walsh told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on “This Week.”
He noted during the interview that his candidacy would provide the Republican party with an alternative, despite the fact that it is a long shot and his chances of beating the President are currently very slim. Stephanopoulos pointed out that Trump’s approval rating within the party is quite high, making such a feat even more challenging for Welsh.
“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 the controversial former congressman.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh’s response to the announcement only said “Whatever.”
Others within the party likewise dismissed Welsh’s attempt to challenge President Trump, pointing to his high support among Republicans.
“President Trump enjoys unprecedented support among Republicans…Republicans are firmly behind the president and any effort to challenge him in a primary is bound to go absolutely nowhere,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel told ABC News.
Later on in the interview, Stephanopoulos also brought into question Welsh’s fitness to make a moral case against Trump, considering that he, too, has made a number of controversial and even hateful statements on various issues, including former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate and religion.
“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. I said some ugly things about President Obama that I regret,” Walsh told Stephanopoulos.
But the host did not stop there, pointing to other racist comments the Republican has made. Back in August 2017, Welsh said Senator Kamala Harris had made a “really dumb” statement, adding “If you’re black and a woman, you can say dumb things.”
“That is kind of textbook racism and sexism,” Stephanopoulos told Walsh, to which the latter responded that he has reconsidered his statement thanks to President Trump being in office.
“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,” Welsh then said.