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. Carol

    I am a democrat and here to tell you that John McCain has forgotten more than you will ever know and continues to operate with knowledge, class and distinction.

    July 28, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Sarah

    Yeah, cause I'm really going to look to a guy who got a house he couldn't afford (and puts his political career ahead of the financial security of his wife and child) to fix our entire country's financial problems. It sure is nice that he isn't worried about us defaulting on our debt – I guess the other 99.99% of the country can worry about how screwed we are if that happens. Honestly, is it really his gimmick to say "I'm as as bad with money as a lot of the Americans I represent, so please, pick me to help fix our debt problem!"?

    I haven't always agreed with John McCain on everything, but he is a class act compared to Joe Walsh. I think we could use a few more John McCain types in Congress (in both parties) to call out the BS of their own party every now and then. If the Tea Party strategy is now to trash one of the most widely respected members of their party, gathering independent and moderate support in 2012 is simply not going to happen.

    July 28, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. nabeel

    Dead beat politician dead beat father he cannot solve his problem u think he can solve our country problem. Who elected these clowns? 1 term politician.

    July 28, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Nojabo

    No wonder this guy has no problem with the U.S. defaulting on its debts. It's something he's done repeatedly in his personal life.

    July 28, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Fluffy

    Somehow I have a hard time trusting this guy's math. He's part of a problem back home that involves his family. Maybe he needs to clear that up before he starts pointing fingers. People who live in glass houses...

    July 28, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Yury

    This is the reason I skipped the 2008 voting : I am Republican but I would NEVER-NEVER voted for McCain

    July 28, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. angryoldguy

    What I find amazing here, is the people that are defending "Clueless Joe"! Since he is in default, why shouldn't his country (and everyone in it) also be in default? Great thinking from the "new tea party revolution"! I've said this before & I'll say it again, "Tea Partys are for little girls & Mad Hatters!"

    July 28, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. bob

    So this has lost his house and can not pay child support. That type of person should not be involved in solving any fiscal crisis. Rule #1 take care of your own house before you start telling the nation how to solve its crisis.

    July 28, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. hitobito

    Walsh, enjoy your 15 seconds of fame. You are nothing but a dead beat father who will have the State of Illinois garnish your pitiful congressional salary forever. You know nothing about economics or financial management. Perhaps you should teach a course in financial mismanagement. You are 49 years old and a loser. That, sir, is your reality.

    July 28, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. BENJI

    Just like a teabagger hypocrite.

    July 28, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. nabeel

    Dead beat father husband. He cannot fix his finance but wants to fix our country finance. Who elected these clowns to run our great country. Tea party officials are trying to run our country into ground. Wake up America next election get them out of Congress.

    July 28, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. mary beth shemeluk

    If he owes that much in child support are his wages attached and if not why? Most people who owe that much in back support are in jail. Why is he so different?

    July 28, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. roro

    This guy is a blathering idiot, a deadbeat dad, and a rude and disrespectful know-it-all, who managed to hop aboard the government gravy train he loves to rail against. What a hypocrite!

    July 28, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. LetItBurn

    Nicely done Mr. Walsh and also the voters of Illinois for electing this guy. Hiring this guy to manage our debt because of his experiences makes about as much sense as hiring a convicted child rapist as a school principle because he has spent a lot of time with kids.

    July 28, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. asiasky

    and the arguments against "term limits" are what again?

    July 28, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. LMC

    I haven't always agreed with McCain, but he has been willing over the years to reach across the aisle, unlike most of his fellow Republicans today. Our Fouding Fathers that the Tea Party people like to talk about knew all about compromise, but suddenly that has become a bad word in the Republican Party. It sounds like Rep. Walsh needs to look at his own dirty laundry and take care of his life. It's so easy to think one has all of the answers!

    July 28, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Ed Texas

    I hope this jerk gets thrown next election. A total disgrace as a person but typical GOP scum.

    July 28, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Alex in Wisconsin

    In other words, He ran as a guy who couldn't maintain his finances and can therefore lecture the nation about ours. Well at least he's fiscally conservative....oh right. At least he has strong family values....oh...he's divorced. Well at least he's about personal responsibility...oh..he owes how much in Child Support? I think this guy is a gingrinch-class conservative. He really talks a good game but in practice....

    In conclusion, He fits in well with The Tea Party. Good luck to him, I hope he sticks around. His friends need to go, but this average joe actually needs the income...and perhaps a second wife.

    July 28, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Olaf Big

    Well, somebody sent Walsh to Congress. Folks, next time, take a deep breath and use your brains before voting for somebody. Being comfortable having a beer with someone is not a reason to send that bloke to the White House, and having the same "struggles" is not a reason to send a guy like Walsh to Congress.

    July 28, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Lenny Pincus

    Irony is lost on The Teabag Nation.

    July 28, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. tprivate

    Unfortunately the freshmen class has not had the experience of John McCain. Smart negotiators NEVER box themselves into a corner. Now the Tea Party is in a lose-lose position. Break that stupid signed pledge and the bold promised made to their constituents and they wont get re-elected, drive the economy over the edge into a recession by forcing a default and again they wont get elected by the vast centrist and now angry independents. A short flight before yet another fringe bites the dust of history. Why not introduce an apprentice system in congress for freshman – only half a vote for the first term until they learn to spell compromise.

    July 28, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Linda

    Wow, another deadbeat dad running away from his obligations....what a piece of crap Joe Walsh is............now I'm supporting his ass? What a complete and utter douchebag he is.

    July 28, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. CD

    Maybe Joe should stop being a deadbeat dad before tossing stones at McCain.

    July 28, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Former Republican, now an Independent

    I'm no fan of John McCain's, but Joe Walsh is part of the bigger problem for the GOP. He belongs to the current day fanatical neo-con faction of the republican party that has gained control and is destroying the party, and will destroy the country if given the chance.

    July 28, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. mfhpr

    To: The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE – The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    You're not going to get any respect with name-calling on one side of your mouth and saying others are personally attacking someone whose story they don't know or understand on the other side. The simple fact that you defend a man that owes $117K in back child support is plain enough for people to see your ignorance. You don't get that far in the rears on CS in one year or even 5 years if you're an "average" American. He made decisions that left his kids hanging on a cliff, period. Explain to me otherwise, oh wise one. But first, here's a clue for you: my wife is owed approx. that much from her first husband. They had two kids and have been divorced for approx. 14yrs. Yes, it depends on how much each parent earns and which state and county they live in. If an average American, which is who Walsh claims to be, is earning average middle-class wages, it would take him maybe years to amass $117 in CS for two kids.

    Please tell me how Walsh is prepared to represent average Americans? I already know the problems with McCain – I've lived in AZ for 25yrs.

    July 28, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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