Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) has recently established himself as one of the more outspoken critics of President Donald Trump on the right. Now, he wants a Republican to step up and challenge the president for the party’s 2020 nomination.
In a New York Times op-ed, Walsh cited Trump’s trade war and the impact of tariffs on American citizens to argue the president is “ripe for a primary challenger.”
“In fact, it would buck the historical trend if he didn’t have one,” he added. “More often than not, unpopular presidents face primary challengers.”
Walsh, who first entered Congress on the wave of the insurgent Tea Party movement in 2011, voted for Trump in 2016 because of his strident opposition to Hillary Clinton. But Walsh explained how he, “soon realized that I couldn’t support him because of the danger he poses to the country, especially the division he sows at every chance, culminating a few weeks ago in his ugly, racist attack on four minority congresswomen.”
“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.”
Walsh argued that Trump’s policies make clear the president is no true conservative, citing numerous policies that broke with conservative mainstream views.
“He’s reckless on fiscal issues; he’s incompetent on the border; he’s clueless on trade; he misunderstands executive power; and he subverts the rule of law,” Walsh wrote. “It’s his poor record that makes him most worthy of a primary challenge.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld has already announced a primary challenge against the president, but Walsh expressed a desire to see another primary challenge from the right take on Trump in addition to Weld’s more center-right focus.
“We’ve had enough of your lies, your bullying, your cruelty, enough of your insults, your daily drama, your incitement, enough of the danger you place this country in every single day,” Walsh added in a closing message to President Trump. “We don’t want any of this anymore, and the country certainly can’t stand four more years of it.”