Joe Walsh to take on Trump in 2020 Republican primary

Posted at 9:35 AM, Aug 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-25 19:08:06-04

Conservative radio host and former Illinois US Rep. Joe Walsh will challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020, he announced Sunday.

"I'm going to run for president," Walsh said on ABC's "This Week," also telling host George Stephanopoulos, "I'm going to do whatever I can. I don't want him (Trump) to win."

Walsh had said Thursday that he was "strongly, strongly considering" entering the race.

"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."

Walsh had previously called for a Republican to challenge the President, calling him an "unfit con man" who is "bad for the country" earlier this month.

Walsh said he had voted for Trump in 2016, but only because Trump wasn't Hillary Clinton. Where Trump lost him, Walsh said, was during the President's news conference with Vladimir Putin at their summit last year in Helsinki, Finland, at which Trump sided with the Russian strongman over his own intelligence community's assessments of Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

Walsh isn't the only conservative candidate looking to take on Trump. But any of the three possible Republican contenders would be a long shot against the President, who, according to Gallup, has an 88% approval rating among Republican voters.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld announced in April that he would challenge Trump, telling CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead" that it would be a "political tragedy" and he would "fear for the republic" if the country had Trump as President for a second term.

Former Rep. Mark Sanford told CNN's Brianna Keilaron "CNN Right Now" in July that he is considering mounting a challenge to Trump in 2020, with plans this month to explore a possible candidacy. The South Carolina Republican has planned visits to key early-voting states New Hampshire and Iowa.