Aug 22, 2019

Joe Walsh set to challenge Trump in Republican primary race: Reports

Joe Walsh during his time as a congressman, 2012. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) told Politico Wednesday that he's confident he can secure the resources to challenge President Trump for the Republican Party's nomination. His comments came hours after the New York Times and Washington Post reported that Walsh was expected to announce his candidacy.

Why it matters: The Tea Party conservative would join former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld in challenging Trump for the Republican Party nomination. Politico reported that sources close to Walsh told the news outlet he was privately confirming he would announce his presidential bid this weekend. The NYT also reports that Walsh is set to enter the race as early as this weekend.

The big picture: Trump could still face other conservative challengers, according to the WashPost, which reports that former South Carolina congressman and Gov. Mark Sanford, former Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are considering entering the presidential race.

  • Walsh appears to have laid the groundwork for a run at the presidency in a NY Times Op-Ed last week where he stated the case for a contender from the right to challenge Trump. In the op-ed, Walsh said he gave Trump "a fair hearing" after voting for him in 2016, but he realized soon after he became president that he couldn’t support him.
"The fact is, Mr. Trump is a racial arsonist who encourages bigotry and xenophobia to rouse his base and advance his electoral prospects. In this, he inspires imitators."
— Joe Walsh NYT op-ed excerpt

Between the lines: The NYT notes that Trump's approval rating with Republican voters is consistently in the high 80s and that the president's political aides have been aggressively moving to tighten their grip on state parties to ward off primary challenges. But the news outlet reports that those encouraging Walsh hope he can appeal to reluctant Trump voters who are open to an alternative.

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Republican Joe Walsh announces he will primary Trump in 2020

Conservative radio host and former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) announced on ABC's "This Week" that he is launching a primary challenge to President Trump in 2020.

Go deeperArrowAug 25, 2019

Trump challenger Joe Walsh: Canceling GOP primaries is undemocratic

Joe Walsh at a news conference. Photo: Bill Clark/Roll Call

Presidential candidate Joe Walsh told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" Monday the decision by several states to cancel Republican primaries is "undemocratic bulls--t."

The big picture: The Republican parties in the key early nominating states of Nevada and South Carolina voted over the weekend not to hold contests, as did Kansas and Arizona, per NBC News.

  • Trump has a near-90% approval rating within the Republican Party, but he faces challenges for the party's nomination from Walsh, former congressman and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

Go deeper: Trump challenger Joe Walsh has an inflammatory record of his own

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Walsh said "undemocratic" in his quote.

Keep ReadingArrowSep 10, 2019

Potential Trump primary challenger has inflammatory record of his own

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is expected to mount a primary challenge to President Trump, after discovering newfound Twitter fame as an ardent defender-turned-critic of the administration.

The big picture: Walsh wouldn't be Trump's only primary challenger, as former Gov. Bill Weld (R-Mass.) has already launched a long-shot bid. But the Tea Party Republican would likely offer a different approach to the more traditional Weld, having created a brand for himself as a conservative activist unafraid to ruffle feathers. That has led Walsh to his fair share of controversy, including allegations of racist statements.

Go deeperArrowAug 22, 2019