Former Illinois GOP Rep. Joe Walsh, who has been publicly mulling a 2020 primary challenge to President Donald Trump, said Thursday he is “strongly, strongly considering” entering the race.
“I’m strongly, strongly considering it. That’s – again, I’m not trying to be cute or coy. I’ve told you before – if somebody’s going to get in there and go after him … it’s got to be done soon,” Walsh told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.” “You’re running out of time. But more importantly, these are not conventional times. Look at the guy in the White House. These are urgent times.”
Now a conservative radio host, Walsh apologized last week for his role in helping elect an “unfit con man” to the presidency. During an interview on CNN, he said he voted for Trump in 2016 only because Trump wasn’t Hillary Clinton. His support for the President changed, he said, after Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, last year in which he sided with the Russian strongman over his own intelligence community’s assessments of interference in the 2016 election.
Asked by Berman when he’ll decide on whether to run, Walsh said, “Labor Day’s in what – a week. If you want to get in, you’ve got to get in within the next week or so.”
Echoing criticisms he lobbed at Trump last week, Walsh said Thursday that the President is a “horrible human being” and that he’s setting a bad example for children through his rhetoric.
“The only way you primary Donald Trump and beat him is to expose him for the con man he is. And if I did it, John, that’s what I’d do,” he said, adding that the “silence” by other Republicans on Trump’s actions is “what’s so disappointing.”
Walsh also said he thinks he can beat Trump, but added that he believes any “good challenger” could win against the President “if they make the moral case (against him).”
Trump is already facing a Republican primary challenge by former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who announced in April he was officially entering the race to take on Trump in 2020. The President could also face a challenge from former Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who is mulling a longshot bid against the President for the Republican primary.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.