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

    So, a member of the Tea Party admits that the Republican choice for president was part of the group "who have gotten us into this mess year after year after year" and that "Folks like him … have no clue as to the troubles Americans are going through right now. They don't understand this crisis anymore."

    It's nice of him to put that on the record.

    July 28, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Darlene

    Oh great another do as I say not as I do politican. Why is this man not in jail for not paying child support? Why did he have his home forclosed? Could it be non payment like his child support? They can preach it to the little man but they don't practice what they preach themselves.

    July 28, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. vet in texas

    Every single tea party freshman who ran as a "small business owner" is a complete fraud, any real business owner knows full well what will happen to their business if the interest rates sky rocket.........hate to say it, but it has to be racial hatred because that explains the stupidity that these people are exibiting with very important ramifications, either that, or they are just pandering to their naive base who are easily mislead by non-factual leaders!

    July 28, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. barbara schiffler

    great, now the republicans are listening to dead-beat dads. What is so remarkable about this man is that he apparently has no shame in owing money to his own children. wonderful leader

    July 28, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Inmyopinion

    The same can be said of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Vice President Biden, etc... and I don't see them going away from their posts anytime soon.

    July 28, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Greg in Arkansas

    This is the best example of the 'dumbing down' of America.....a guy that can't manage his own finances is going to call the shots for the rest of us???....we are in DEEP DOO DOO.........

    July 28, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Richard zoesch

    Joe Walsh–Owes $117,000.00 child support and had his house foreclosed on him. Wow–sounds like the kind of fiscally responsible guy I want making decisions for me.

    July 28, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Dan

    I like to be lectured on fiscal and personal responsiblity by a guy who owes 100k to his kids and can't pay his mortgage.

    July 28, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. Jerry Garcia

    Kudos Mr. Walsh. McCain is out of touch and has no right to call himself a "conservative" after his last dozen years in office. He's the one who should sit down and shut up.

    July 28, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Tony Z

    Get your own personal house in order first. How can you solve our problems? Take care of your child. Sounding more like a dead beat dad.

    July 28, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Dr. Morgan

    McCain is just one of the good o'l boys. His political power/sway and career are at an end. Just too blind to see it.

    Most of the old guard (both sides) have to go. and we have to quit looking at the GOP & Dem partie so muchs (2 sides of the same coin) so that we can see the puppet masters pulling their strings. As long as we're focused on them ... we can't see what's really going on.

    July 28, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Just Saying...

    This fool, Walsh, is the one who has no clue.

    The Tea Party is hurting this country far worse than al Qaeda eve could have.

    Putting government into the hands of ignorant and angry, but charismatic, demagogues did nothing good for Germany. And that is where we are headed if we don't throw these idiots out the next chance we get.

    July 28, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. FM

    These freshmen pretend they know better than anyone else. I wish they could know they don't. They are lacking experience which comes together with wisdom. They are the ones who have no clue at all how things are done! What about to be humble and learn from those who know like Sen. McCain.

    July 28, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Cosmo

    "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."

    Mr. Walsh, it is clear that you and your zeolot teapartiers do not undersatnd the debt crisis, especially in view of the fact that you and your ilk have drawn an arbirtray line in the sand and created this crisis because of ideology instead of solving America's problems. Illonios, please see that this guy is shown the gate in 2012.

    July 28, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. L. Snyder

    This guy should be in jail for non-payment of child support instead of being allowed to run his mouth about national bidget dare him be part of a movement to further degrade and encumber the middle class for a debt caused during the 8-year disgrace of george is a man who has shirked his responsibility to his children, who went back on his obligation to provide a roof over his family's head (probably through shady deals that fell through), and who now thinks he is an expert on how to bail this country out of an impending economc catastrophy...what a miserable excuse for an American, let alone one who thinks he knows what is best for this country!

    July 28, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. pn

    Walsh is clueless, not McCain. Divided government relies on compromise. I bet there will be no agreement August 2 due to these idiots, and then we'll see who is right about how markets will react.

    July 28, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Actually, McCain was right to call them on the carpet. The Tea Party wants to treat the Federal Budget totally like a family budget, and that simply isn't workable. The Federal government HAS to have more flexibility than that, to deal with crisis in the economy. The problem is, a liberal President, tends to spend far too much in such times, and is irresponsible with his spending. That is why Congress sets a debt have some controls over such runaway spending. The problem becomes worse, if the Congress is controlled by that President's political party, who simply follows the leader, and exercises NO JUDGMENT, and that is precisely what we had, during Obama's first 2 yrs., and that is precisely why we now have a problem.

    The "balanced budget" is a nice theory, but too dangerous to the country, in terms of dealing with crisis.

    There has to some common sense applied in Congress, something that neither party is demonstrating at this time, and all McCain was trying to do, was wake people up!

    July 28, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Glenn

    This is the same guy who hasn't paid child support for how many years?

    July 28, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    He's right. McCain and everybody that was in Congress contributing to the financial mess this country is in, SHOULD BE REMOVED. "progressives" like him in the Republican Party and all the leftist loons in the Democrat Party are the source of this great entitlement culture. The job of the federal government is NOT to control every aspect of peoples lives, nor is it the job to take from some to give to others, who just keep demanding more and more. Our Republic has been turned into a Robinhood Republic. Legalized theft through the tax code.

    July 28, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Marshall M

    I submit that Rep. Joe Walsh does not understand the crisis of the debt ceiling. He, like Michele Bachmann and the other Tea Party freshmen, don't understand that raising the debt ceiling does not at all involve future spending. It deals with spending we've already done. Joe Walsh does not understand how many MORE people will lose their jobs and homes if the U.S. defaults.

    July 28, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Fed Up

    I agree. However, they will have to compromise or there will be no deal. In that instance, Obama wins because he can use the 14th amendment to give himself a blank check. Come on folks. Do your jobs!

    July 28, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Emmy Skaddittle

    yet he was the republican nominee for president last time and I am sure walsh campaigned for him.

    July 28, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. DollarPalin

    So he wants the rest of america to experience his pain of foreclosure. Does the T-party even understand the consequences of default? Only people like him will take irresponsible decisions and take more loans then he can pay and go thru a foreclosure. Now he wants his financial discipline he applied in his life to the country. Where was this Tparty genius when we spent trillions on a war + bush tax breaks.

    July 28, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Harrison

    Ever see this guy talk? He has the same blank stare as Michele Bachmann. They must share a water cooler.

    July 28, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Bo Blackburn

    So a deadbeat who failed to support his children is lecturing us on fiscal responsibility. Interesting.

    "n 2004, Laura Walsh complained in a motion that despite her ex-husband’s claims of poverty, he took a vacation to Mexico with his girlfriend and another to Italy. The following year, he complained in a court filing that his ex-wife mailed him a motion while she knew he was in Nicaragua doing charitable work with one of their children." Sun Times

    "In addition to the foreclosure on his condominium, Walsh was haunted during his campaign by disclosures of liens on his property from unpaid bills and staffers abandoning his campaign, saying he wasn’t paying them." Sun Times

    July 28, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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