Former U.S. Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) on Sunday announced that he will be challenging incumbent President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican presidential primaries.
“I’m in. We can’t take four more years of Donald Trump,” Walsh wrote on Twitter. “And that’s why I’m running for President.”
Walsh is the second challenger to announce his run, following former Governor Bill Weld (R-MA). Two other former Governors, Mark Sanford (R-SC) and John Kasich (R-OH), are also said to be mulling bids. Walsh seeks to differentiate himself from Weld, a centrist, by describing himself as a “contender from the right.”
Walsh has a background as a right-wing provocateur, having been elected in the initial 2010 Tea Party wave, before losing re-election in 2012. He has said he will run as a hardliner on immigration, reflecting his record in Congress. Like Weld, Sanford and Trump himself, Walsh also espouses a more restrained approach to foreign policy, criticizing U.S. intervention overseas. That said, Walsh has attempted to distance himself from many of his past controversial remarks, apologizing for his support for Trump in 2016, and focusing his campaign on a “moral” critique of the President.
Walsh has already drawn support from leading “Never Trump” commentators, including Bill Kristol and Jen Rubin. According to the New York Times, he is also seeking to recruit George Conway, the husband of Trump aide Kellyanne Conway and a prominent critic of the President, to his campaign. Nevertheless, his campaign remains an uphill battle, with the President boasting record support from Republican voters.