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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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
51 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.