Former Rep. Joe Walsh on Sunday, Aug. 25 announced his bid for the Republican presidential primary, becoming the second 2020 GOP candidate seeking to challenge President Donald Trump.
Already in the race is former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, according to The Associated Press.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Walsh, once a backer of President Trump, said he decided to run for the party’s primary because the incumbent president is unfit for the office.
“Somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative” among Republicans, the former Illinois congressman said.
Walsh, 57, is now a radio talk show host. He narrowly won a House seat from suburban Chicago in the 2010 tea party wave, but lost a re-election bid in 2012.
Walsh has a history of inflammatory statements regarding Muslims and others. Just before the 2016 election, he declared that if President Trump lost, “I’m grabbing my musket.”
Before Walsh, only Bill Weld launched his bid to challenge President Trump for the party’s nomination in 2020.
Weld, 73, is regarded as fiscally conservative but socially liberal. He was the 2016 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee.
Both Walsh and Weld may not be notable primary challengers for President Trump as his popularity among Republicans remains high in his third year in office.
A poll conducted this month by AP-NORC found that 78% of Republicans approve of President Trump’s job performance, indicating the incumbent president continues to have the solid backing of the party.
In addition, President Trump’s allies have recently taken over state parties that control primary elections in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and elsewhere.