It’s incredibly rare to hear a conservative apologize for anything. But former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh is publicly doing exactly that for his role in helping to elect Donald Trump to the presidency.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, Walsh, who served a term in Congress representing Illinois before being ousted from office in 2012 by now-Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), called for Republicans to step up and challenge Trump for the nomination in 2020.
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“We now have a president who retweets conspiracy theories implicating his political opponents in Jeffrey Epstein’s death,” Walsh wrote in reference to Trump accusing former President Bill Clinton of murdering the billionaire child sex trafficker. “We now have a president who does his level best to avoid condemning white supremacy and white nationalism.”
Indeed, Trump’s rhetoric has incited white nationalists to commit acts of terrorism such as the mass shooting in El Paso.
Walsh also slammed Trump’s “ugly, racist attack” on Democratic lawmakers of color and expressed disgust with himself after seeing his own past behavior toward former President Obama reflected by Trump.
“In Mr. Trump, I see the worst and ugliest iteration of views I expressed for the better part of a decade,” he wrote. “To be sure, I’ve had my share of controversy. On more than one occasion, I questioned Mr. Obama’s truthfulness about his religion.”
“Despite what his enablers claim, Mr. Trump isn’t a conservative,” Walsh concluded. “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. It’s his poor record that makes him most worthy of a primary challenge.”
And just in case it was not clear enough, Walsh took to Twitter to offer an apology for helping to elect Trump.
Why did I write this piece? Two reasons: First, I wanted to make clear that Donald Trump is unfit to be President, and he MUST be challenged in the Republican primary.
And second, I wanted to apologize for the role I played in helping to put an unfit con man in the White House. https://t.co/BzXJD4AfOf
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 14, 2019
If a right-winger like Joe Walsh can be remorseful for helping to put Trump in office, any conservative could do so the same. The question is will they, and will any of them challenge Trump? Walsh certainly could do so, and he has already previously suggested the possibility.
Apologies are nice to hear. But we also need actions if we are truly going to end this nightmare.
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