Conservative talk radio host and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh said he's considering challenging U.S. President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2020.
Walsh, a one-term Republican Congressman elected with tea party support, told reporters Wednesday that he was talking to prospective supporters before making a decision in September.
Walsh, who hosts an evening radio show on WIND AM-560, defeated incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean in 2010 to represent Illinois' 8th District in Congress. After that district was redrawn, he lost his seat to Tammy Duckworth, now a Democratic U.S. Senator, in 2012.
Although Walsh initially supported Trump, he has since emerged as a critic of the president. And while Trump has many critics, he enjoys strong support among conservative Republicans.
"There’s a strong case for President Trump to face a Republican primary challenger. I know a thing or two about insurgencies. I entered Congress in 2011 as an insurgent Tea Party Republican," Walsh wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times.
"[... ] 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," Walsh wrote. "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 dismissed questions from the Chicago Tribune about how he'd get the money needed to take on Trump, the newspaper reported. He also said he wrote the piece in the New York Times as an apology for his role in helping Trump get elected.
“So why did I write that piece? I want to apologize for the role I’ve played in putting what I feel is an unfit con man in the White House," he told the Tribune. "There were times when I moved away from policy and got ugly and personal, made some comments about Obama, my political opponents, that were personal and hateful. In a weird way, seeing Donald Trump these last 2½ years, he’s the ugly final personification of that because that’s all he does is ugly personal insults. It’s made me think, ‘Oh my gosh, did people like me who got ugly and personal these last eight or nine years create this monster?’ And I think to a degree it did.”
Walsh is 57 and lives in Mundelein.
"Republican silence, with what we’re hearing come out of this President’s mouth every single day, is shameful. And damn near unforgivable." Walsh tweeted Thursday.