Walsh to skip GOP convention
July 19th, 2012
10:22 AM ET
2 years ago

Walsh to skip GOP convention

(CNN) - Republican Rep. Joe Walsh on Thursday became the latest politician to announce he's skipping his party's convention, saying he would instead focus on holding campaign events in his Illinois district.

In a statement, Walsh said his decision reflected his status as a political outsider.

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"Not as a candidate or as a Congressman have I ever been one of the political class," Walsh wrote. "I came to Washington to serve the people of my district and reclaim our country from the growth of government. Rather than mingle with Party insiders in Tampa, I will be in the 8th district to continue to serve as an independent voice for the people."

Walsh is currently engaged in a bitter fight for a seat representing the new 8th Congressional District located outside of Chicago and created by the state's recent redistricting process. It's widely expected to vote Democratic in November.

Walsh and his opponent Tammy Duckworth made headlines earlier this month as Walsh, a first-term congressman elected with wide tea party support, sharply criticized Duckworth for talking too much about her military service on the campaign trail.

A Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq, Duckworth lost both legs and the use of one arm when her crew was shot down in 2004. She was later awarded the Purple Heart and continues to serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.

In his statement Thursday, Walsh presented Duckworth as a political insider more interested in advancing her career than representing constituents.

"My opponent, Tammy Duckworth, has always been the preferred pick of Democrat Party insiders from [former Illinois Gov. Rod] Blagojevich to [Chicago Mayor Rahm] Emmanuel," Walsh wrote. Blagojevich is currently serving a 14 year prison sentence for federal corruption charges.

Walsh continued, "I hope [Duckworth] will join me in skipping the conventions to tour the district to discuss the real issues that matter to real people. The conventions are nothing more than an excuse to mingle with insiders and party with the elite. This district does not want just another insider to represent them; they want an independent who will fight for real solutions to the issues."

In early July, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman became the first of Mitt Romney's former rivals from the Republican primaries to indicate they would not attend the convention. But a smattering of other Republicans have already indicated they will not be there.

Former Virginia Governor George Allen announced last week that he would not attend the convention due to the heated Virginia Senate race he's engaged in. Heather Wilson and Rep. Denny Rehberg, both GOP Senate candidates in New Mexico and Montana respectively also will not attend the convention to focus on their own races.

Several Democrats will also skip their convention. The growing list includes Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Rep. Mark Critz of Pennsylvania, Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Rep. Kathy Hochul of New York, among others.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who faces a tough re-election battle, will also forgo the event.

–CNN's Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Joe Walsh • Republican National Convention • Republicans
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Walsh is a dispicable human being. He can't even pay child support. Duckworth all the way!!!

    July 19, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. where your nightmares end Willard begins

    sounds to me like the child support bill must have come in again.

    July 19, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Bill

    Thanks goodness this worthless excuse for a congressman will lose his seat in November.

    July 19, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. mrrational

    Outsider? Hahahah. You work in Washington you dolt.

    July 19, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. RoseSelavy

    "Walsh said his decision reflected his status as a political outsider"... and soon to be Congressional outsider, as he loses his seat in November.

    July 19, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. donnie

    Amazing that when Aldelson gives money which has a questionable source the repos are silent. Whats wrong with you idiots. The democrats can't begin to keep up with the elites rich among the republicans. You make everything into an excuse to bash the president. You are a hateful group who spend more time looking to make negitive remarks and less time to look at the issues.

    July 19, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Expat American

    I hope this lost eagle eventually finds his way.

    July 19, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    loser. He'll be unemployed (his own fault according to Herman Cain) come this November

    July 19, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Walsh is a wind bag in an empty suit who is a child support dodger. No one will miss him @ the GOP convention and no one will miss him when he loses in November.

    July 19, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Mike

    Good riddance to this jerk!

    July 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. Sandy

    What a despicable human being!

    July 19, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The sad thing about this is even if Joe Walsh (the politician, not the member of the Eagles) loses this election, he will still have his Congressional Pension! The even sadder thing is because it is a pension, it cannot be attached to pay his delinquent Child Support. The saddest thing is he has free health care for the rest of his life!

    July 19, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Thomas

    Wife say's he needs to go to rehab , Joe say's NO NO NO !

    Another want to be actor , bring in the clowns .

    July 19, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Walsh is a shining example of Tea Party freshman that overran the House after the 2010 elections. They are the ones responsible for rejecting the Big Deal between Pres. Obama and Spkr. Boehner during the deficit debate. That rejection led directly to a downgrade of our credit rating. Why? Because they rejected a compromise deal, screamed "no compromise", and called for the US to default on its' debts.

    July 19, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The sad thing about this is even if Joe Walsh (the politician, not the member of the Eagles) loses this election, he will still have his Congressional Pension! The even sadder thing is because it is a pension, it cannot be attached to pay his delinquent Child Support. The saddest thing is he has free health care for the rest of his life!
    -----–
    I don't think those are accurate statements, Joe from CT. My understanding is that you have to have a minimum of 6 years service to qualify for pension & healthcare benefits... and he's a freshman congressman... meaning only 2 years.

    July 19, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Florida Joe

    Come on ......tell us the real reason........you said it was tough to get by on your Representative's salary so you got a PT job to try to catch up on that Child Support you've been ignoring...........What a piece of dirt this guy is............

    July 19, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. zoyster1

    Who cares?
    What about all the Dems that will be AWOL during the DNC in Charlotte, which is a MUCH bigger story. Nice try, CNN.

    July 19, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |