Former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh has called for President Trump to face a primary challenge from Republicans ahead of the 2020 election.
“I apologize for the role that I played in putting an unfit conman in the White House,” the radio host said Thursday on CNN, where he was discussing an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times Wednesday arguing for a challenger.
He called Trump “bad for the country” and cautioned that if Republicans don’t “stand up right now,” the party will “get wiped out in 2020.”
In his op-ed for the New York Times, Walsh, once a strong Trump supporter himself, wrote, “Fiscal matters are only part of it. At the most basic level, Mr. Trump is unfit for office. His lies are so numerous — from his absurd claim that tariffs are “paid for mostly by China, by the way, not by us,” to his prevarication about his crowd sizes, he can’t be trusted.”
The Illinois politician continued, referencing the controversies that launched him to prominence during President Obama’s administration: “In Mr. Trump, I see the worst and ugliest iteration of views I expressed for the better part of a decade. To be sure, I’ve had my share of controversy. On more than one occasion, I questioned Mr. Obama’s truthfulness about his religion. At times, I expressed hate for my political opponents. We now see where this can lead. There’s no place in our politics for personal attacks like that, and I regret making them.”
Walsh was a fierce critic of Obama and regularly came under fire for his assertions that the former president is a Muslim. He once called Obama a “cop hater” and told him to “watch out.”
Walsh claimed that all of his former Republican colleagues feel similarly and CNN’s John Berman pushed back, citing recent polling that showed strong Republican support for the president. After the segment, Berman tweeted a clip of the interview, pointing out that Walsh himself never ruled out challenging Trump in the primary.
Watch above, via CNN.