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. martin

    That does it! I'm burning all of my Eagles albums!

    July 28, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Joshua Ludd

    The debt ceiling has nothing to do with the debt "crisis". It has to do with paying off what we already charged up. If we default, it will be disastrous.

    July 28, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Indie-voter

    @ Dale..."Rigid ideologues don't do well in the real world."

    That is spot on. Well said...sweet, succinct and irrefutable.

    July 28, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. DA

    Okay, while I really don't support a word coming from a teabangers, this guy did make a comment that was on point and correct "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" Now, with that said he makes a good point that speaks not only to McCain but to both parties who have political reps that have been in office for YEARS and need to go!! – TERM LIMITS!!!

    July 28, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    What continues to blow me away is how the Repubs are always saying, "The American people want this and that," when all they did after President Obama was elected in 2008 and Democrats took the House and Senate was TO IGNORE THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND OBSTRUCT EVERYTHING!

    Don't you get it, folks? These Republicans no more represent the average American than a rock. They represent their ideology of tax cuts for the wealthy, cut all social spending, privatize all governmental functions and to heck with us.

    Their attitude is if you aren't born into wealth – TOUGH! You're worthless anyway, but that won't keep me from pandering to you, what with my God-and-country rhetoric.

    Stand up to these Republican fools, people!

    July 28, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Not Rich Independent in Illinois

    Walsh knows all about not spending! He won't even pay child support to his ex-wife! She's suing him for $117,437 in back child support! I recommend that everyone check out today's Chicago Sun Times to read the story! She's been trying to get him to pay for 9 YEARS!!! Plus, he wouldn't want his constituents paying more in taxes... His district is a very wealthy district. He may be the darling of those Tea Bagging Morons, but after reading the story, he is truly coming off as a scumbag! Thank God it'll be more difficult to re-elect him since the districts have been re-mapped & he's no longer in the same district. Hopefully the people in his new district will have a shred of common sense & send him to the unemployment line!

    July 28, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Tony in Maine

    Walsh is everything that is wrong with politicians multiplied by 10. Fortunately, he is a one termer along with most of the rest of the Tea Partiers. The people will wake up this weekend and realize the damage these two year olds are doing to our (not their) country.

    July 28, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Joe Walsh - You can't keep a good creep down

    Let's see. Joe Walsh owes back child support in the hundreds of thousands of dollars (can someone spell deadbeat dad) and his house is in foreclosure. His website has posted in big bold print "Walsh to Obama: Quit Lying". This is a guy with real class. Actually, this is a guy who is a thug and needs a spanking. His mother must be so proud. Here he is lecturing us about government finances and he can't budget for child support and house payments. One has to wonder how the people who work for him look themselves in the mirror each morning and explain to their children about what type of person they work for.

    July 28, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. midleclssfan

    Voters have never been more wronge than voting this guy and others like him in office. Do our country a favor and reverse this madness in 2012.

    July 28, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Jess C.

    This guy is a fiscal loser in his personal life....owes his wife child support. He can't even manage his own finances yet he feels it's ok to preach about our country's? Big time shameless loser!

    July 28, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Joe - Enjoy your moment in the sun

    Everybody go to and complain about this clown. A deadbeat dad and his house in foreclosure and he is lecturing us on government finance. Typical tea party nonsense. The 8th district of Illinois must be wanting a recall vote right now on this idiot.

    July 28, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Dead-beat dad and running around spending money on european trips with his girlfriend. Sounds like he should resign (it would be expected of any dem doing the same thing). OUT with dead-beat dads!

    July 28, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Bull

    Walsh should be sitting in jail . Pay up you DEADBEAT .

    July 28, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Ginues 123

    Really? Really??? Mr. Walsh so all the Tea Party flanky guys like you know better than the ones who didn't overspend and still has his house and his family? we should wait for flankies like you to solve the test that you alredy fail once. It is ovbious that you want company, you want to make everybody like you homless. Thank you Mr. Walsh now I know whom I am going to sue if you don't compromise to increase the debt limit.

    July 28, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Max

    You owe what! PAY up, or SHUT up! Which will you do!

    July 28, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Grand Oil Party

    This is from the guy who won't pay his child support? Who cares about Joe Walsh, the only Joe Walsh worth a darn is playing guitar for the Eagles.

    July 28, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Bill

    Rep. Walsh claims he ran for Congress and is now trying to "find a solution." I would argue that the Tea Party is not looking for a solution–it is looking to impose ITS solution without any consideration that it doesn't reflect the majority of Americans. The Tea Party is inherently undemocratic in its wish to force feed all Americans its narrow-minded and ridiculous philiosophy. The Tea Party also is inherently unpatriotic in that it doesn't care whether the USA honors its debts. The Tea Party is a bunch of ignorant, uneducated and largely stupid people who didn't care about deficits or debt when a white Republican was President (aka BUSH) but suddenly gave a hoot the moment a black Democrat came to office (aka OBAMA). Their hypocrisy is obvious to most Americans.

    July 28, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. Steve

    Got news for the Teapublicans. No matter what you do now, you've already blown it. Seniors, who vote in greater numbers than any other group, are already on to you. We don't mind making some adjustments like raising the age limits or cutting back benifits for those that don't need it. But you've shown your hand too early and we know what you would really like is to severly cut benefit amounts leaving millions of us destitute while protecting tax subsidies to corporations whose profits are in the billions. . No matter what you do now, it's too late and you're gonna be outta-here.

    July 28, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. JohnRJ08

    Joe Walsh is the poster child for self-destructive, grossly irresponsible politics. Like a lot of other demagogues, he has confused stridency with competence. I didn't know until today that he was a deadbeat with a troubled financial history. That only confirms my initial feelings about him, after seeing his arrogant, witless displays during interviews on various networks. Walsh doesn't understand the fundamental concept that the national debt is not a "crisis". It is a long-term problem that needs to be dealt with, but not at the expense of the country's credit rating and economic stability of the entire planet. Walsh has been 100% sure of himself and rigid in his thinking since the day he took office. For him, there has been no learning curve or absorption of facts. His political theology represents a fiscal danger to the republic and the amount of damage he will do between now and when he's thrown out of office in 2012 could be significant. Why don't the people in his district recall him? Do they actually believe what comes out of his mouth?

    July 28, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. rrinbr

    So what ya gonna cut, Walsh? You gotta cut half the budget to meet your goals. What ya gonna cut? You haven't got a clue, do you? You don't really even care; you are just like all your other little tea-baggers, in that you just want to see the USA dissolved. You want to see this country ruined. You are no better than anarchist trash.

    July 28, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Janet

    First of all, he's a deadbeat dad; he's not a victim of the poor economy. It takes a while to rack up that kind of arrears.

    Secondly, he and his fellow Tea Party Panthers were NOT sent to Washington by "The American People"; they were sent there by big money and special interests. Follow the money.

    Big money/special interests chose him because he is vulnerable, not because he is intelligent, informed, or engaged. They took a down-and-out individual that they knew they could control. And they are. Simple as that.

    The fact that he thinks "The American People" approve of his behavior is delusional. Sad day; I'm sure his ex-wife is happy to have that "ex" in front of her title.

    July 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. A Repulbican

    WOW! over $100,000 in child support, doesn't pay his mortgage, and now he's telling the President how to balance the budget! Like I said, give them enough rope and the tea party would be no more. Just because someone says he hates, taxes, likes small business, wants a balance budget and is against same-sex marriage doesn't make him a person worthy of being a congressman, Joe Walsh, case in point! He says the right things but his life is complete opposite, he shucked his responsibility in marriage, he shucked his responsibility to his children, he shucked his responsibility in balancing his own budget, didn't pay his mortgage, and broke the law by not paying his child support, and his reward:He's a tea party congressman of the Unitied States of America! WOW!!!

    July 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Belingo

    Oh my God, this has satire-like quality. "I totally messed with my finances, I owe more than $100,000 to my ex-wife, which is why I can't afford to pay my mortgage, and that's exactly why people sent me to Washington and entrusted me with the responsibility to bring our country's fiscal house in order."

    Wasn't it the GOP who accused those who carelessly signed mortgage contracts of being irresponsible? But now, instead of actually doing something to address the root causes of the financial crisis, they are making themselves the champions of deregulation. Seriously, how can you yourself be afflicted by the financial crisis, and then go to Washington and defend the interests of those who created the financial crisis in the first place?

    The Tea Party is like a young, untamed horse – noone knows what stunt they'll pull off next...

    July 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. Good Riddance

    WOW. I live in his district. He needs to go. If he would have paid his alamony over the years and not have played super boy he would have not had those issues. We will make sure he is out next year and can join the unemployment line. Mr Walsh – YOU are a disgrace to this country.

    July 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |

    Really? My eyes must be deceiving me! A dead beat Dad (& house foreclosed) elected to office & wants to tell the government how to handle finances? Next he'll be in the news for his scandalous affairs with whomever. I'm disgusted with this type of individual in Washington.

    July 28, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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