Joe Walsh Announces Run Against Trump for 2019 Presidential Primary
The Primary: Joe Walsh, a former GOP congressman and conservative radio personality, announced he will run against Trump for the Republican nomination.
Who? What? Why?: A Tea Party Republican, Walsh served one term in the House from 2011-2013 representing Illinois' 8th congressional district. In office, he frequently criticized then-President Obama, which included pushing the same Obama-birther conspiracy that Trump leveed. (Walsh apologized for some of his comments on Sunday.) Now, he's turned his ire on Trump. He's not the only Republican challenging Trump for the GOP nomination, though. Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is running for the GOP nod, and, as the Washington Post reports, ex Sen. Jeff Flake, Mark Sanford, a former South Carolina governor, and former Ohio governor John Kasich are rumored to be mulling a run, too.
The Baseline: Trump has around a 90 percent approval rating among Republicans. Not to mention, he's got a huge fundraising advantage. It's going to be extremely difficult for any Republican to edge out the president for the GOP nomination. Trump's inner circle had its own way of explaining the long-shot odds. “None of [the challengers] has risen to the level of a [Trump] nickname," said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president.
From the Left: Aaron Blake of the Washington Post argues Walsh carries too much baggage. "Walsh doesn’t just have experience with conservative talk radio and supporting Trump," he writes. "He inhabited the fever swamps of birtherism and anti-Muslim rhetoricand conspiracy theories as recently as a couple of years ago."
From the Right: Jim Geraghty of the National Review says Walsh is "obviously not the answer." Like Trump, Walsh has gotten himself into hot water for things he's said. "He sounds a lot like the president in some ways," writes Geraghty.