Rep. Walsh says folks like McCain 'have no clue'
July 28th, 2011
10:52 AM ET
3 years ago

Rep. Walsh says folks like McCain 'have no clue'

Washington (CNN) – Freshman Republican Rep. Joe Walsh took issue with Senate stalwart John McCain's criticism of tea party efforts regarding the debt ceiling and blamed the old guard for the fiscal failures of Congress.

"Folks like Sen. John McCain have been in this town for too long and they're the ones who have gotten us into this mess year after year after year," the Illinois congressman said Thursday on "CNN Newsroom." "Folks like him … have no clue as to the troubles Americans are going through right now. They don't understand this crisis anymore."

Arizona Sen. McCain on Wednesday said ultimatums issued by many in his conference, like insisting on a balanced budget amendment to the constitution that he said will not become law, are "worse than foolish." But Walsh said he and his fellow fiscally conservative freshmen came to Washington to find a solution to the crisis.

Walsh, who was elected in 2010 with tea party support, said he is more concerned with solving the debt crisis than he is with the August 2 deadline for raising the borrowing limit to avoid a potential default.

Conservative members of Congress, particularly freshmen, are a key voice in the debate over the debt ceiling with their unbending positions that have become obstacles for House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in their attempts to reach a compromise.

"I'm obsessed with making sure that we solve this debt crisis and if it takes us a few more days, let's do it," Walsh said.

When asked about a recent report in the Chicago Sun-Times that he owes $117,437 in child support to his ex-wife and that his home was foreclosed upon, Walsh said his struggles mirror those of many Americans.

"I ran as a guy who lost his home and had had financial struggles, like a lot of Americans," Walsh said. "This is where a lot of Americans come from right now. It's why they sent so many of us to Washington to do something about this because we're living this experience."

– CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • John McCain
soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. AEK

    Yep. And you and your "people" have passed eight pieces of legislation so far during your tenure as the majority party in the House of Representatives, none of which was the jobs bill you promised to the American people to get yourselves elected. Nice goin' pal!

    July 28, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Billy

    Walsh owes over $100,000 in child support so when it comes to not meeting financial commitments, Walsh knows a thing or two.

    July 28, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. once upon a horse

    yet these SAME Tea Party Republicans REFUSE to listen to the American people, read the polls that say a majority of us want an END to the Bush tax cuts, raise revenue by closing corporate loopholes, ending breaks for big oil, and raising taxes on the upper 2% that have had their share of breaks but have done little to create jobs, you know the job creators that they are. Plus he should ask his fellow GOPers why they voted to raise the debt ceiling 7 times under Bush but don't want to do it under Obama.

    July 28, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Embarrased Conservative

    I assure you Joe Walsh you don't have a clue of the problems of the average American either. How did this TEA party hobbit even get elected. I hope he is one and done.

    July 28, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Malty

    Conservative voters made an effort to clean up their party. I wish the democrats had done the same. Unfortunately, we still have Pelosi, Reid, Watters, Rangel, Franken,... You might not agree with the Tea Party, but they allowed their voice to be heard.

    I have voted for democrats locally in the past, but won't support the national group until they show that they are will to get rid of a lot of the 'dead wood" - dinosaurs that are hurting the country (see ALL California democrats).

    July 28, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Ronald Morris

    So he is divorced, lost his home and owes child support. Sounds EDXACLY like millions of other mainstream Americans to me. He has had to learn first hand that being broke is expensive and he knows that paying the billls and getting debt under control is unimportant.

    July 28, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    I guess he favors default because he's always welched on his own obligations.

    " Vote for Walsh: he's as screwed up as any of them!"

    Should I support someone because he mirrors the culture he claims to hate? Man, that's a toughie, with all the TP idiots who've made things infinitiely worse with their blind faith in an ideology that does not nor will not solve ANY problems. Boy, does that ideology make their decision-making easy, even when it conflicts with reality. If they had any guts, they would vote on legislation NOW, no constitutional amendments, no crap. Instead, all we get is an extremist wish list that get us nowhere fast, but satisfies their benefactors. Enjoy the perks, Koch-heads, because you will be part of the shortest-lived House majority in American history.

    July 28, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. Ronald Morris

    man, I wish I proofread my last. Correct3ed version.

    So he is divorced, lost his home and owes child support. Sounds EXACLY like millions of other mainstream Americans to me. He has had to learn first hand that being broke is expensive and he knows that paying the billls and getting debt under control is important.

    July 28, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Who elected this individual? He doesn't pay his taxes, doesn't pay his fines and gets his drivers license suspended...still drives. Owes his children child support. Wants to rob SS, Kill Medicare and Medicaid to give himself a tax break. Do people not do any research before they vote? Well it is the Republican party that drove this country over a cliff and we are still paying for it.

    August 4, 1861 President Abraham Lincoln enacted the first income tax. Why did he do that? The Civil War cost money. The bills had to be paid.

    The Republican Party voted for 2 unfunded wars, 2 huge tax cuts..none of which were paid for. The Republican Party is responsible for all this debt. So what does America do in 2010..vote them all back in again. WAKE UP PLEASE!!

    July 28, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. 228rory

    You have no idea Mr. Walsh. You have no idea on how to govern, and you have no idea how to be a good father. Really? $100K overdue in child support? Deadbeat Congressman, Deadbeat Dad.

    July 28, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. ConservaFASCISTS/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    "Folks like him … have no clue as to the troubles Americans are going through right now. They don't understand this crisis anymore."
    -------------------------------------------------–
    I'll take McCain's wisdom over your judgement any day of the week Mr. Walsh. Your agenda is way too radical and is only supported among 20% of all Americans. The people want compromise and you teatards are unwilling to negotiate. That's not only childish, it's a dangerous situation you idiots are putting the country in.

    July 28, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    McCain is right about it being worse than foolish.

    Rep. Walsh should not point fingers at people and declare they have no clue. He supports that one tea partier who feels that we should actually *lower* the debt ceiling. How's that for clueless?

    July 28, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. yellerdog

    Walsh is the one with "No Clue"

    July 28, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Political Theatre

    The hypocrisy of the Tea Party at its best!! These are the people that are leading your Country...what stellar examples of humanity! I wonder how his kids feel about his own debt default?

    July 28, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. SecedingfromTexas

    Clueless is a perfect word for this guy and his cohort Bachmann, Both of them frauds and manipulators.

    July 28, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. DH

    How do people send an idiot to Congress that doesn't even know how to keep his own finances in order and gets his own home foreclosed upon? No wonder China is beating us silly.

    July 28, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. sandra

    I guess Mr. Walsh doesn't understand that the policies of his party have made peoples lives worse. Public jobs eliminated, unemployment not extended and putting our credit rating at risk with their antics. He obviously doesn't understand what the debt limit is or does. Deadbeat dads should be expelled from Congress.

    July 28, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. a in austin

    Your money issues have nothing to do with your new job working for the American voters. So, are you saying what's good for me (losing your house, job) is good for your voters? What a lousy father to not help with the costs of raising your children. You sleep in your office – you're a bum. Enjoy what time you have left – I'm sure your district will say "YOUR FIRED!"

    July 28, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Phil in KC

    Wow – so now they're going after their last presidential candidate? And one of the few Republicans roundly respected by a vast majority of Americans (whether they agree with his politics or not)? I guess this just goes to show how far out on the fringe the tea-baggers are. The Republicans need to show them the door. Let them start up their own 3rd Party. Essentially, they are any way. Of course, if they did that, then the Republicans would lose their majority.

    July 28, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. jackie616

    Just what we need: A person in Congress, who cannot manage his own money and telling us he knows better then John McCain. Walsh owes $117,437 in child support to his ex-wife and his home was foreclosed on. He could not manage his own money and he thinks he is qualified to tell the government how to manage their money? This is the caliber of the TP Republicans. He should be voted out of office.

    July 28, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Walsh, who was elected in 2010 with tea party support, said he is more concerned with solving the debt crisis ....
    -------------
    There is no actual "debt crisis" in this country. It is all in their minds. Yes, we have a deficit problem, but we have not reached a crisis point. The current crisis over the debt ceiling is an artificial crisis that the Tea Party has created.

    For those of you out there who have been taught to believe that the Tea Party is something separate from the GOP, and they just happened to join forces, think again. The Tea Party was concieved by hard right extremists and produced by the Republican Party.

    Let me put it this way. The founder of the Tea Party Nation, Judson somebody, has an office at RNC headquarters right next to his former boss. Judson made a lateral move to create and run the Tea Party Nation. His office is adjacent to the head press official at the RNC.

    In other words, the press and publicity department at the RNC founded the Tea Party Nation. The two groups never joined forces because they have been run by one and the same group, the RNC.

    July 28, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. largebill

    Great! People who are not part of the entrenched Washington crowd need to respond when the McCain's of the world say stupid stuff. It is very telling that the folks who got us in this mess (meaning those who've been in DC for decades) are fighting the hardest against actually doing the right thing. Sen. Smeagol needs to retire to Arizona. Problem is the voters there foolishly bought into his pre-election conservative act again last year so we are stuck with his BS for another 6 years.

    July 28, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    What a great article in which to praise the media for it's committment to allow media access to the outer fringes of society. Had the media not been so willing to throw all caution to the wind in it's effort to allow (and gain profits from) 1% of the country's most extreme (no doubt the media thought this group - TeaPers - would bring more chuckles and giggles than actual political power), as a country, we wouldn't be where we are today, with the likes of this Walsh making an utter fool of America in his own effort to milk an income from the government he seems to so dispise. That the TeaParty gained it's power through media outlets is an understatement. It was expected that the Rupert Murdochs of the world would very willing take an entire country financially hostage for their own gain. Coming from our own American media, though, not so much. Kudos to each of you. You got more than you bargined for. As did we all.

    July 28, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Bill NY

    The Tea Party has no clue. They are just a bunch of selfish traitors.

    July 28, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Jim, WIsconsin

    Walsh, YOU LIE!
    John McCain has his faults, but even he recognizes the train wreck that is the tea party express. He learned that lesson
    in picking a loon for a running mate. So if Anyone knows a disaster when he sees one , it would be McCain.

    July 28, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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