Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman and Tea Party figure turned controversial talk-show host, is expected to announce his candidacy for president in the coming days, according to reports by Politico and The New York Times.
If Walsh does throw his hat in the ring, he’ll be the second Republican to mount a primary challenge against President Donald Trump. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld announced in April that he’d be running for president.
Both Politico and the Times reported that Walsh, who served as the Republican representative for Illnois’ 8th congressional district from 2011-2013, will likely announce his presidential bid this weekend.
Walsh, 57, neither confirmed nor denied the impending announcement but told Politico that if he was going to “do it, it’s going to happen soon.”
“I’ve been really surprised by the amount of anxiousness from people across the spectrum who want this president to have a challenge, because there’s just a real concern that he’s absolutely unfit,” Walsh said, adding that he’d “abso-freaking-lutely” be able to secure the financial support needed for the task.
Walsh, who voted for Trump in 2016, wrote in a Times op-ed earlier this month that he’d become convinced in the months and years following the election that the president was not a good leader but a “racial arsonist who encourages bigotry and xenophobia.”
“I wanted to apologize for the role I played in helping to put an unfit con man in the White House,” Walsh tweeted following the op-ed’s publication.
If Walsh does become a presidential contender, he’s expected to face an uphill battle against Trump, who boasts ample resources and whose approval rating with Republican voters has remained consistently high.
When asked by the Times to react to Walsh’s potential primary challenge, Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Trump’s reelection campaign, responded with just two words: “Certain failure.”