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.
I don't agree with him politically, but calling McCain clueless is so disrespectful. The guy is an American hero. Walsh should be removed from Congress just for disrespect...
Walsh is perfect. His life is a metaphor of the current crisis–totally devoid of ir0n_y–of what it means to run up a credit card bill and then refuse to pay it off, claiming that the latter action is necessary for "fiscal responsibility."
Another lunatic. He wants all of us to lose our homes, jobs and savings. When the markets collapse we're all going down the rabbit hole.
"Walsh said he and his fellow fiscally conservative freshmen came to Washington to find a solution to the crisis."
With $117k in overdue child support payments and a foreclosed house ... I can think of nobody better to "find a solution" to the national debt issues. If experience counts for anything, then this guy definitely knows how to screw the pooch.
Where and how did this nut get in Congress? I have heard him on TV and he is way over the ledge. If I were his ex-wife I would sue him for all of his House salary. Surely, this is is one and only term in Congress.
While I believe we need to stop the spending, balance the budget and live within our means, I am not naive enough to let our country default, I would support the Boehner plan just to prop us up for a while until we could get enough Republicans in office to make a real difference, by allowing the tea partiers ( whom I have a lot of respect for) blame Boehner and stop any progress we might make is just plain stupid. In case you haven't noticed, we are just a small part of our government right now. We didn't get in this mess overnight and we won't get out overnight either.
How can the man who chose Sarah Palin as a running mate be called "clueless"?
The Congress previously voted to spend this money, now we have to pay the piper. If you have a problem with the spending, then you handle it in the next cycle, when you can actually affect the outcome. Otherwise, you have no clue buddy!
This coming from a "man" who pays his bills on the backs of his children by not paying his child support. Gimme a break.
This coming from a guy who has been in office all of 6 months. They will fry next election. I can hear the sizzling now.
The puzzling thing to me is that many of the tea party loonies depend of medicare and social security.
They'd rather see the oil companies etc. keep their tax breaks and subsidies and kill these programs. The lobbyist and executives must be laughing all the way to the bank.
Watch my words, if USA defaults we will see China become the next economic power house in the years to come and the Yuan will replace the American currency around the globe.
Walsh you dont have a clue either
Talk about clueless. The polls are out there. The Tea Party is shrinking because of their far right, let's-turn-America-into-a-Christian-theocracy-and-rob-from-the-poor-to-give-to-the-rich philosophy. The new young lions had their chance and they blew it. Time to go bye-bye in 2012.
This guy is truly one of the biggest mouthed people I've tried to listen to through this recent fiscal debate. It's his way or nothing. He's extremely aggressive and won't listen to others' opinions or solutions. I'm guessing his ex would have a juicy story for all of us. She could get that $117K in dead-beat-dad-money by selling that story, I'm sure. He thinks he's the smartest guy in D.C. right now. Smart guys would reduce spending AND raise taxes to get us out of this mess. That's what Americans want! Reduce the spending too sharply and unemployment will continue to climb. But, ahhhh...that's the plan, right? Anything to make the Obama admin look bad for one more year, no matter the price to the American people. He and his kind haven't a clue that you just don't turn off the spigot. You have to reduce the spending gradually, and ultimately end the wars. Then our taxes will go down. But you'll hear NOTHING from him and most other REPs regarding reduction of defense spending.
And Joe Walsh has not been in Washington long enough. Walsh and his Tea Party follower's with their inexperience and ignorance will lead this country off a cliff. Hopefully they will just lead their faction of the GOP off a cliff and leave the sane individuals looking down at them.
Joe Walsh is a teabagger wimp. He talks more trash behind the mic and the capitol police.
I think I hear the pot calling the kettle black.
Tough daddy Joe Walsh. But he's a dead beat wimp and hanging on for life to maintain his free gov't healthcare. Dude is a wimp.
Walsh is what is wrong with this country. He has no clue of the consequences of a default. He is the poster child for the reason not to let idiots vote.
I am no big fan of McCain, but he has forgotten more about governing the US than Walsh will ever know, and he is right on the money on this issue.
I realize that the GOP, especially the Tea Party wing, have strongly held beliefs that they want to fight for, but they are acting like spoiled children throwing a tantrum. At the end of the day they will wish they took Obama's original deal, which would have cut spending more deeply and given them more of what they want.
And who really thinks it's a good idea to go through this nonsense again in 6 months? As McCain might say, my friends, that is NUTS.
wouldnt it be great if t- party freshmen opened their congressional pay envelope next month and instead of a check received the following note "sorry, but due to lack funds in the federal checking account you will not be paid this month". hopefully we will be able to resume your salary next month. p.s. fyi the likelyhood of you getting paid again in the near future is about 50/50 at best!
Odd, just recently they were trying to convince us that McCain should be leader of the free world. Today he is clueless. I guess we dodged a bullet there, ey Republicans?
He won't help pay for his children to be raised. Why does it surprise anybody that he thinks someone else is "clueless" for demanding that the United States meet its financial obligations?
I don't think this guy has clue what Americans are going through now and I don't think he has a clue about what this little drama is putting American through or what his demands for immediate draconian spending cuts will do to Americans. I guess he is under the impression that federal and state employees money is somehow different than others and that they do not contribute to the economy. What happens when all these people become unemployed? How does that help the overall jobs picture? How much collateral damage to other jobs?