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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.

"We've got a guy in the White House who’s unfit, completely unfit, to be president. And it stuns me that nobody stepped up, nobody in the Republican Party stepped up, because I’ll tell you what, George, everybody believes in the Republican party, everybody believes that he’s unfit."
"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. Again, the litany, he lies every time he opens his mouth. Look at what’s happened this week — the president of the United States, is tweeting us into a recession."

The big picture: Walsh isn't 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.

  • Walsh apologized for calling President Obama a "Muslim" and a "traitor," telling ABC: "I had strong policy disagreements with Barack Obama and too often I let those policy disagreements get personal."
  • Walsh laid the groundwork for a run at the presidency in a NY Times op-ed last week in which 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 bottom line: President Trump has a near-90% approval rating within the Republican Party, and it will be incredibly difficult for Walsh or any primary challenger to replace him as the nominee.

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

Go deeper

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial

Sarah Palin. Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, delaying the start of her defamation trial against the New York Times.

Why it matters: The trial will be closely watched, as it's a rare instance of a major media company defending its editorial practices before an American jury.

S&P 500 slides into correction territory

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their worst drop of the year, pushing the S&P 500 on track to fall into a "correction."

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated."
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated — Annual vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate — Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance — Arizona governor sues Biden administration over funds tied to mandates.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker