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. Dave Harris

    So this guy thinks people are going to thank him when their unemployment compensation, social security, and Medicare goes bye-bye? What planet is he living on?

    July 28, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Wes B.

    Owing $100,000+ in back child support isn't a financial struggle. It's just terribly irresponsible.

    July 28, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. Logan

    If this guy had any clue had bad Americans were hurting, he would be concerned with the Aug. 2 deadline. Defalting will make things harder for Americans. Just like most average Americans, I have a student loan, car payments, and a morgage. I would like to start my own business fairly soon. Since defalting will increase the interest on my loans and take even more away from my paycheck, how will ignoring the Aug 2nd deadline help me? If we defalt, how will me and other up and coming business owners be able to get loans from an already very tight banking and credit industry? The tea party may say they are against taxes, but my question is what difference does it make if my interest payments are just as much as new taxes if we defalt?

    July 28, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Lolo

    Would these te party people just shut up and go away. They have no idea how government works. Look up Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann. Need I say more. Let the debt ceiling default. See how many of them will be crying about not receiving their government checks. President Obama please stick it to them. Do not budge. Hold your ground. My only real concern is the elderly, but oops I forgot most of them are the tea partiers.

    July 28, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. David

    Time for that fool, McCain, to be put out to pasture. The established ones all need to go.

    July 28, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Biggge

    Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December. Don't throw stones in glass houses, take care of your kids sir...Another dead beat Dad....

    July 28, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. jeb

    Somehow the Tea Party die hards have missed the memo that less than 20% of the voters are with them on this issue.

    July 28, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. JD in Moraga, CA

    "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.

    Huh. A "deadbeat dad" who bought a house he couldn't afford. And we trust him to solve the national debt crisis why?

    July 28, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Dale

    Rigid idealogues don't do well in the real world.

    July 28, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. pc

    pay your child support,be a man an take care of your kids before you tell john mccain to be a man.
    this jerk is a dead beat dad an has no business in the money or how it is spent by our government. he has no scupples,keep him away from deciding what americans need!

    July 28, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. mgc florida

    So because he doesn't pay his bills our country should not pay ours??? REALLY

    July 28, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. 21stView

    McCain has already forgotten more than Walsh will ever know as the saying goes. Saw this guy on an evening news program a few days back. If his district saw fit to elect the poster child for ignorance, they should seriously consider seceding from the country. They would have my vote.

    July 28, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Inrealityhere

    Perhaps he does owe that much in child support; does that justify the amount each citizen of this country plus their children and grandchildren would have to pay the fed in order to pay off the national debt which our foolish congressmen have laid on our backs while they feed off of our tax dollars?!!!

    July 28, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. ATL Guy

    These Tea Party Republicans are beyond the point of naive. They'll finish the destruction that Bush and Company started.

    July 28, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Biggge

    Now we know why this guy does not care if the US default, he has a default against his ex-wife and kids... 100,000 dollars to child support... Pay your bills Sir........

    July 28, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    Borders closing its distribution center in my city 285 will be unemployed borders going out of business understandable
    But
    GE moving its X ray plant to china investing $2 billion in china hiring there firing here

    GE didn’t pay any tax last fiscal year thanks to republicans and tea party

    Rep. Joe Walsh have no clue

    Both the parties drag one month with out talking jobs

    July 28, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. erin

    Really, you don't take care of your children and you want the rest of us to think you are fiscally responsible. Why is it that all these politicians have a story about ' the government has done me wrong' and no job? What is it about these guys that they can't work a 8-5 job like the rest of us, e.g., Joe Miller from Alaska.

    July 28, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Biggge

    The Tea Party has elected a dead beat Dad, who is the brians of the Tea Party Operation....It seems they sould have done reseach on these canidates instead of just listening to hate...

    July 28, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    He'll catch up on that child support as soon as Armey, Rove, and the Koch Brothers give him the money they promised for his vote to ruin this country and leave the rest of us with higher interest (an indirect form of taxation that NEVER goes away). Yeah, right.

    July 28, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. azmary

    If a person does not pay child support, is he expecting the taxpayers in his home state to support his kids?

    July 28, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Kate1230

    Joe Walsh is the epitome of ignorance. He's been in Congress for six months and like other Tea Party congressmen thinks he knows more than anyone else. I saw him on TV within a week after being sworn in and he has shown such disrespect for the President, calling him a liar, saying he has no shame. After all this time, Mr. Walsh, have you no shame? Running off on European vacations with a girlfriend while your ex-wife is at home waiting for child support and you're telling her you don't have any money. What a disgrace! Clean up your own house before you start throwing rocks at others. You don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to the issue of economics and financial responsibility.

    July 28, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Ghostbear

    So let me get this straight, Walsh, you have exhibited documentable fiscal irresponsibility yet have the nerve to suggest that you not only don't care if America goes into default but that experienced leaders need to leave so that fools like you can run the economy straight into the ground in the name of pursuing an economic measure that has no chance of succeeding and which involves the completely inane idea that a Constitutional Amendment can be pushed through Congress? Aside from having no credibilitywhen it comes to economics – home or governmental – you don't even understand how the government that you serve works? I'm no fan of McCain or McConnell, but I'll take them over your ilk any day. Arrogance and delusional thinking will never solve the mess left by GW Bush. Please go home and play little league 'cause the big leagues ain't for you.

    July 28, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. larry

    McCain is one of many political fossils in Washington that needs to be retired along with Lugar, Harry Reid, Feinstien, Boxer, Shumar, Kerry, Graham, Leahy, etc. There should be term limits and not let these freeloaders make being a member of congess a lifetime occupation!!!

    July 28, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. jbinvt

    How come his salary as a congressman hasn't been garnished ? If anyone else was that behind in child support their wages would have been attached or they would have thrown his silly butt in jail.

    July 28, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. TomInRochNY

    Someone has "no clue", but it isn't McCain. The TPers will crash America and be thrown out. I just wish they could be thrown out before they crash America.

    July 28, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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