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Trump May Face Challenger on the Right - Page 2

Former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh is expected to launch primary bid
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2019 11:29 AM CDT

  • His rationale: Walsh calls Trump, among other things, a "racial arsonist," in his op-ed. And he tells the Times, referring to Trump's trip to Finland last year: “He lost me for good in Helsinki, when he stood in front of the world and said, ‘I believe Putin and I don’t believe my fellow Americans.'"
  • His own rhetoric: Axios notes that Walsh has no shortage of controversial comments on his own record and rounds up examples, including a tweet from 2016 in which he wrote, "I think Obama is Muslim. I think in his head and in his heart he has always been." Walsh acknowledged as much in his op-ed, saying he regretted how he has "expressed hate" for his rivals. "We now see where this can lead."
  • The problem: "Walsh's history of divisive rhetoric and previous support for Trump won't help distinguish him in the eyes of Never Trump Republicans who want to see the president ousted," writes Ursula Perano of Axios. "And even if it did, Trump continues to maintain a near-90% approval rating within the GOP."
  • Trump's reaction: Nothing, yet. But campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh is succinct on Walsh's expected run: "Certain failure."
  • Prominent backer: Bill Kristol of the now-defunct conservative magazine the Weekly Standard is behind Walsh's move and thinks he makes a "good David" in a David-and-Goliath way. At Breitbart, Joel Pollack see this as an "odd pairing" and also views Walsh's past rhetoric as a liability in regard to being a Trump alternative. "Yet to Kristol, and the Times, who have struggled to understand the conservative movement and Trump’s political base, he seems good enough."
  • No. 2: The Hill notes that Walsh would join former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld as the only other Republican to officially declare a primary challenge to Trump. Walsh is to the right of Weld, however, notes T.LaDuke of Red State, who nevertheless sees Walsh's move as a "political suicide attempt or a vanity exercise."
(Read more Joe Walsh (politician) stories.)

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