• One-term Tea Party Republican congressman Joe Walsh officially launched his primary challenge against President Trump on Sunday, and on Monday, he sought to clarify racist remarks he made in the past by claiming while he’s said “racist things,” he isn’t a racist.
  • Walsh addressed his past remarks “after he was confronted by MSNBC’s John Heilemann about his history of controversial statements, including the accusation that former President Obama was a Muslim.”
  • On MSNBC, Walsh said: “I wouldn’t call myself a racist, but I would say, John, I’ve said racist things on Twitter. There’s no doubt about it. And an apology is not enough.”
  • Walsh represented Illinois’s 8th Congressional District between 2011 and 2013 as part of the Tea Party movement.
  • Heilemann said: “You’ve apologized for helping to spawn Trump. You’ve apologized for going too far. For a lot of people, the fact is the president is a stone-cold racist and so are you.”
  • Heilemann continued: “You can apologize for various things. Apologizing for burping at the table or using the wrong fork with your main course is different from offering some kind of a genuine recognition that not just ‘I said things that are offensive’ but that ‘I’m a racist. I said racist stuff.’”
  • Walsh said: “When I said Barack Obama was a Muslim, that was a horrible thing to say, and I said it because I was so disgusted with Obama’s policy toward Israel that I went a bad, ugly step.”
  • Walsh continued: “I’ve probably sent out 40,000 tweets in the last six years. No excuse. You and I could sit down and find 200 to 300 that you’d say, ‘Walsh, what were you thinking?’ And all I can do is own them and explain them and apologize as sincerely as I can for the ones that deserve an apology.”  
  • When announcing his campaign on Sunday, Walsh said about Trump: “I’m running because he’s unfit. Somebody needs to step up, and there needs to be an alternative.”
  • Walsh added: “The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum. He’s a child. Again, the litany. He lies every time he opens his mouth. Look at what’s happened this week. The president of the United States is tweeting us into a recession.”

Reference Links

  • The Hill: Joe Walsh: ‘I wouldn’t call myself racist’ but ‘I’ve said racist things’ READ
  • People: All About Joe Walsh, Who Is Running as a Republican Against President Donald Trump READ
  • Daily Beast: Trump Challenger Joe Walsh: ‘I Wouldn’t Call Myself a Racist’ but ‘I’ve Said Racist Things’ READ

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