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Hello, Mr. President: Joe Walsh

Personal Background

Fifty-seven-year-old Joe Walsh was born in North Barrington, Illinois. Walsh announced on August 25th that he would be running for the Republican nomination for the 2020 presidential election. Married twice, Walsh’s current wife, Helen Walsh, served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2018-2019. He is also a father to three children and two step-children.

Walsh attended Grinnell College and then the University of Iowa where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. Six years later, he earned a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies. A former GOP congressman, Walsh is a current Conservative talk show host and has previously worked as a history teacher and a political consultant. Early on in his career, he worked as a social worker with the Jobs for Youth program which helped high school dropouts in inner-city Chicago.

Walsh announced his run for the presidency on ABC’s “This Week” adding, “We’ve got a guy in the White House who is unfit, completely unfit to be president. And it stuns me that nobody stepped up. Nobody in the Republican party stepped up.” Currently, Walsh is up against Bill Weld and current President Trump for the nomination.

Political Accomplishments

In 2010, Joe Walsh successfully ran against Melissa Bean (D) for Illinois’ 8th Congressional District. He only served one term, losing his reelection in 2012. During his time as a congressman, Walsh sponsored bills, such as the Second Amendment Protection Act of 2011 and the Government Spending and Accountability Act of 2012 which would “institute spending limits and transparency requirements for Federal conference and travel expenditures, and for other purposes.” Both bills died in a previous Congress, as did the majority of the bills he sponsored. The single bill that makes up the exception was the No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012. Parts of the bill ended up in other bills which were enacted.

Platforms

Climate Change

Joe Walsh has gone back and forth on the issue of climate change. Back when he was running for congress in 2010, Walsh stated that the science behind science regarding global warming was “not definitive.” This was partnered with the belief that U.S. economics come before climate agreements. In past months; however, Walsh criticized Trump for missing a G7 meeting in France to discuss environmental issues and said, “The Republican Party has to acknowledge it’s a problem. This president won’t.”

Gun Control

Walsh is in full support of the Second Amendment. He co-sponsored the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act which proposed to loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases.

In 2018, Sacha Baron Cohen reportedly tricked Walsh, along with other politicans, to endorse a program that would arm preschool children by reading a script about an Isreali innovations.

Immigration

When it comes to immigration, Walsh has conflicting views. On one hand, he has said that he would end the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the border, but on the other hand, he has said that he would be “tougher” on illegal immigrants during a PBS interview. He is also in support of the construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Healthcare

Joe Walsh is a known opponent of the Affordable Care Act. In the past, he has told supporters to “defy and or break the law and engage in civil disobedience” if the ACA was found to pose restrictions. When elected to Congress, he rejected congressional health care and pension plan.

Abortion

Walsh is extremely pro-life. He has said that abortion should be illegal under all circumstances, even when the mother’s life is at risk. “With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance … There is no such exception as ‘life of the mother’, and as far as ‘health of the mother’: same thing,” Walsh said.

LGBTQ+ Rights

Walsh has said that he would reverse the ban initiated by the Trump administration on transgender individuals serving in the military.

“Anybody who can qualify to serve in the military — gay, straight or transgender — should be able to serve.”

Despite this, Joe Walsh has been obviously homophobic throughout his professional life. He has expressed his belief that marriage is only between a woman and a man. Walsh also labeled members of the LGBTQ+ community “constitutional terrorists.”

Foreign Policy

Joe Walsh is pro-Israeli and has endorsed islamophobic leaders globally, such as Marine Le Pen from France. Walsh also wants to bring U.S. soldiers home from Afganistan.

Criticisms/Controversies 

In 2011, Walsh’s ex-wife, Laura, sued him for owing money from not paying child support. The amount she claimed he had not paid exceeded $117,000. In a joint statement issued by Joe Walsh and Laura stated that “Having resolved these issues together and cleared up these mistakes in private, we now agree that Joe is not and was not a ‘deadbeat dad’ and does not owe child support.” At the time, it was a heated topic between the two.

In 2014, Joe Walsh was kicked off the air for saying racial slurs on his radio talk show. When discussing how he went about his on-air conversations, Walsh said, “I do with this program what I did as a U.S. Congressman — speak plainly, speak directly, not worry about political correctness, and engage in respectful, engaging debate with all viewpoints. This is just too important of a time for all of us to do anything less.” In an interview for MSNBC, Walsh claimed that he is not a racist, but had just Tweeted racist things in the past. His radio show has since been revived but was canceled once he announced his run for the presidency.

In 2016, Joe Walsh made a string of false and disparaging claims about then-president Barrack Obama. Walsh claimed that Obama was a Muslim, which explained his supposed hatred toward Israel. Earlier that same year, Walsh posted a now-deleted Tweet which said, “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.” When announcing his run for the presidency; however, Walsh stated that “I said some ugly things about President Obama that I regret.”

 

Popularity/Electability

According to recent polling, only 2 percent of Republicans polled plan on voting for Joe Walsh in the primaries. At this point in time, it is unlikely that any opponent to Trump in the primaries will receive the Republican party nomination. Trump’s job approval rating by Republicans, as of earlier this month, was 91 percent. Considering the aforementioned polling numbers, it will undoubtedly be a tough fight for Walsh to make it through the primaries in 2020.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Isabella is a 17 year old full IB diploma candidate who is passionate about this world. When she is not writing, she is probably studying biology, watching M*A*S*H, or playing with her dog, Teddy.

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