Aug. 25 (UPI) — Joe Walsh, a former U.S. representative from Illinois, announced Sunday he is the second challenger to President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination next year.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld announced in April he is running against the president.
Like Weld, Walsh has entered the race despite Trump’s high approval rating from members of his party.
“I’m running because he’s unfit; somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative. The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum — he’s a child,” the conservative said.
Walsh, who was once a strong supporter of Trump, became a radio host after losing a 2012 reelection bid to Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who was elected to the U.S. Senate four years later.
“I helped create Trump,” Walsh told Stephanopoulos, “and George, that’s not an easy thing to say.”
In acknowledging he has little chance against Trump, Walsh said he is focused on offering GOP voters an alternative vision for the party.
“Look, this isn’t easy to do. … I’m opening up my life to tweets and attacks,” Walsh said. “Everything I’ve said and tweeted now, Trump’s going to go after, and his bullies are going to go after.”
His campaign website includes a written note and video why he is running for president but offers no details on issues. Joewalsh.com is a website for the singer//musician by the same name.
“I won’t be easy, but bravery is never easy,” Trump posted on Twitter. “But together, we can do it. … Let’s show the world we’re ready to be brave.
In 2010, Walsh won by 291 votes over a Democratic incumbent, Melissa Bean in the race for the Chicago suburban seat as a member of the Tea Party movement.
Some of his district, including his home, was redrawn by the Democratic-controlled Illinois General Assembly into the 14th district held by fellow Republican Randy Hultgren. He chose to run in the newly drawn eighth district though it was heavily Democratic.
Walsh ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 and for the Illinois General Assembly in 1998. He’s a former social worker as well as a high school and junior college teacher.