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. The Real Tom Paine

    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.

    Do you really like the fact your spokesman welched on his basic responsibilities as a father? Silly me, of course you are: why let moral obligations get in the way of sticking it to people you don't like?More to the point, McCain beat back a challenge from the Pyramid-scheme spokesman JD Hayworth, so I think he's proven that he is more up to the task than a TP darling.

    July 28, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Meteorite

    It takes an idiot to know one.

    July 28, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Joe

    Ha, they are starting to eat themselves......gooood, very goooood...

    July 28, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Tim

    Agree 100%. Only Obama is way worse than McCain.

    July 28, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Thomas Hood

    He's a deadbeat dad with a ton of experience shirking debt. At least he knows of which he speaks...

    July 28, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Im sure that Rep. Joe Walsh is doing exactly what the citizens of Illinois wanted him to do when they elected him...destroy the economy of the United States. Why else would they elect him to represent them? I don't blame him, I blame those Illinois voters, who hate America, and voted for him.

    July 28, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Chris

    What? Shouldn't Walsh be in jail for skipping out on child support? That is a ton of money. I hope the House is taking this out of each paycheck. My own father dodged child support so I know all too well how wrong this is and he is certainly not an American we should look up to. His ex-wife who is caring for their child is the one we need to look up to. What a real low class group of people the teabaggers put up for election. I guess the gene pool has dried up for quality elected officials.

    July 28, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. E Ray

    They say I'm crazy but I have a good time...

    July 28, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Ruby Gumshoe

    Looks like Walsh and his freshman cronies are doomed to become one term politicians.

    July 28, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Laurie in Spokane

    Boy, I sure love to see the Republicans attacking each other. Not that this guy's not correct, but to aire it in public? Not good for the party to show such division. Good for the democrats though.

    July 28, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Chas in Iowa

    This guy reminds me of a series of stories I read as a child called Don Quiota. He was a rebel who went around picking duals with windmills.
    He has good intentions, he just has a very hard time aligning his good intentions with reality.

    July 28, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. JoeProfet

    I can appreciate his having lived some of what we are going through, but still a little far from walking in our shoes. Maybe, some of these folks need to spend time in the homeless shelters, in the unemployment lines, in the line for getting food stamps, at the hospitals and walk a mile in our shoes as they say. Then, and only then, will they have a proper perspective. Also, perhaps if they were the first to be affected by a default, in other words, their salaries would be put on hold for the duration, then they might have a better idea. I would wager that some of them would default on their homes, autos, vacation villa's, condos, etc. Once that occured they might be more serious about finding the route cause of the problem, which is rich folks doing what they do best, spending other peoples money!

    July 28, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. ohmygosh

    Your first duty is to your children. Absolutely no respect for someone that doesn't meet those duties.

    July 28, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. PaulC

    I'd be more inclined to listen to a seasoned veteran rather than a wet behind ear zealot with a 1 item agenda.
    If he were proposing to cut some of his very generous taxpayer provided pay and perks he would have more credibility.

    July 28, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. logic in LA

    This is laughable! Speaking of clueless. The new crop of Representatives ( keep in mind someone fro the Real World is now a Rep) are clueless to what it takes to govern and the process it takes. Saying taxes cannot be raised is irresponsible since they were lowered with no thought except to re-election and without looking at the impact on our well being. cuts alone will not solve the problem. Cutting federal taxes will only force higher taxes at the state level. Do they ever think of consequences beyond their face?

    July 28, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. ALAN J

    If this was an average guy we would be in JAIL not in Congress!!! He needs to resign and go home with that dog and pony act. i hope the EX gets his Government check and he like millions of Americans get a Pay Stub! Hypocrits!!!

    July 28, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. shaddup

    A deadbeat dad. And he's got all the answers for the country's financial problems. Tea Party arrogance/ignorance in a nutshell.

    July 28, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. chris

    Explain to me again how lowering gov't spending helps the millions of Americans who are out of work.

    July 28, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. ArtInChicago

    Pay your back child support Walsh or your kids may end up on the welfare rolls you loathe.

    July 28, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    Freshman Republican Rep. Joe Walsh may be correct about Senator McCain having been Washington to long and he may be right when he says, "Folks like him … have no clue as to the troubles Americans are going through right now. They don't understand this crisis anymore", however, the election of "Tea Party Freshmen" such as himself coming into the House and Senate wanting to take an ax to solve the problems we are now facing is not the solution to our problem either. We need people that are willing to exercise constraint and common sense to fix our problems. I'm saying we need skilled surgeons to perform the surgery on our economy that will remove and fix our problem without killing the patient. We need financial surgeons that can remove the cancer without killing the patient. The taking of a "Meat Clever" to our problem is as prehistoric as any act can be. Work together people. That is what you were elected to do.

    July 28, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    A guy that deep in the red can be bought very cheaply.

    July 28, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Colleen

    yeah..he is so fiscally responsible he dead-beated out on his kids from his 1st marriage...good example of his character...

    July 28, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Sam

    If someone other than Joe Walsh was saying that McCain was clueless I might agree with him or her. But not this guy. McCain may have his faults but being a deadbeat dad and making the taxpayer foot the bill for raising your children is not one of them. Walsh is a disgrace to his party and to Congress but sadly very typical of the tea party fools who don't know the first thing about the Constitution they claim to be defending. The clueless one here is Walsh, not McCain.

    July 28, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. TeeDeeDubya

    He can't get his own finances in order but he is going to show the USA how to do it? The Republican party has lost it's way, lost real leadership, and lost it's grip on reality. God help us.

    July 28, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Kwesoe

    Well, well well! This is getting ugly. When a junior representative starts describing a senior senator and elder statesman as clueless, then you know the severity of division in the GOP.

    July 28, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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