Republican apologizes for Obama 'idiotic' comment
September 2nd, 2011
07:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Republican apologizes for Obama 'idiotic' comment

Washington (CNN) – U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Illinois, apologized on Friday for calling President Barack Obama “idiotic” while speaking to a group of voters earlier this week.

“That was absolutely stepping over the line and I apologized,” Walsh told CNN's Wolf Bliter on "The Situation Room."

“He’s not an idiot, he is the president of the free world.”

“What I meant to say,” said Walsh, “and I didn't say it very artfully, is the notion of him using his office to call a joint session of Congress to just repackage a few old jobs ideas - that to me is idiotic.”

Walsh called Obama idiotic while speaking to a group of voters in Illinois on August 31.

In a statement on Thursday, Walsh announced that he would not be attending Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress on September 8.

“To me this is nothing but a political move by this president and I simply didn't want to be a pawn in this political theater,” the congressman said.

The White House has said the president will lay out a new jobs plan that he intends to submit to Congress following the speech.

Walsh said he has not yet told House Speaker John Boehner that he will be skipping the speech and has not asked any other representatives to join him.

“I would rather go home ... and talk to small businessmen and women and find out from them what we need to do about this economy,” Walsh said. “And I will bring those ideas back to the president.”

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Filed under: House • Joe Walsh • President Obama • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Whatever next?

    Thanks to the republican party's rabid ambition, America is becoming a joke.
    Did this loser pay his child support yet?

    September 2, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Sorensen

    Who cares whether an idiot like Walsh apologizes or not.
    He is a nobody now and will forever remain a nobody>

    September 2, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. Glenc

    We can see that the Republicans do not respect the office of the President of the United States.
    Why should we assume they will respect the office any more if we put them back in power?

    September 2, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |

    Once again we hear "NO" from someone who is supposed to be representing the people of this Country. And where are your ideas for improving the economy, Walsh? Why haven't you signed the bills laying idle on your desk that are there to help improve the job outlook in America? Go ahead, stay away, take more are being watched closely! Not fooling those of us with intelligence. You may fool some, but not all.

    September 2, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. MTC

    Walsh ONLY comment should be I paid my back child support and I am current on my support payments to my children. A person that did not and does not take care of their children cannot comment on ANYONE about ANYTHING.

    September 2, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  6. Lisa P

    Perhaps he should just resign now since he prefers playing feel-good political pretend-to-listen games to doing his full job of representing his constituents in the governing our nation from Washington D.C.

    This, people, is what you get when you elect someone who runs on how much they detest Washington: an absentee; an empty seat during the great policy debates; silence in the back rooms and the committee meetings.

    September 2, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. Elaine

    Congressman Walsh' sattitude is what is wrong with this country.We have seen very disrespectful behavior by Republicans towards President Obama, from the Joe Wilson"You Lie" outburst to the Doug Lamborn "Tar Baby" analogy to Paul Braun's refusal to sit and listen to the president, as Joe Walsh plans not to do.They may hate Barack Obama, but he is still president of the United States; and the office, and what he has to say warrants their attendance and attention.Their coarse, boorish behavior is dishonorable

    September 2, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. Jeremy Toeman

    regarding "“To me this is nothing but a political move by this president and I simply didn't want to be a pawn in this political theater,” the congressman said."

    Actually, SAYING THAT is nothing but a political move. And a weak one at that.

    September 2, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. jane

    NO joe walsh you are the idoit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. Henry

    Walsh is a jerk and Obama is a coward.

    September 2, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. NoTags

    Walsh should just keep his mouth shut until he pays the $117,437 in back child support he "reportedly" owes. If it is found that he does owe this child support, (which he doesn't deny) the "deadbeat dad" should be expelled from the House.

    The tea party didn't investigate "their boy" very well before they supported his election.

    September 2, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. U. S. A.

    President Obama is the 11th. President in my lifetime. I don't remember this kind of disrepect for another President. Even President Nixon who resigned rather than be impeached was not called some of the names President Obama has been called. I am afraid ladies and gentlemen we are fast becoming a uncivilized society. I was taught by my parents to respect The President of The United States no matter which party. Just because we have freedom of speech does not mean one should say anything he or she wants to. Have a safe and Blessed Labor Day my fellow Americans.

    September 2, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  13. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    No other president in our country's history has been treated by the opposing party with such disrespect as President Obama has. Remember, this president inherited the worst economic situation possible from the Republican administration, and every effort on his part to improve matters has been stone-walled by the Republicans, who I believe would rather see our country go down the drain than admit that our President has even one good idea.

    September 2, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Dalfrom CA

    Hey Joe did you write any JOB Bills yet? When you do then call some one idiot before that you take that label.
    On your web page you talk about jobs but how many bills did you author on that issue?
    The again you are a Tea Party candidate that means you will say NO to anything the Current President has to say.
    That goes well with your comment that you will stay home and brood or go talk to small business owners. Now lets see how many want you to author the Jobs bills.

    September 2, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. louis r

    Walsh won by 5,000 votes in a BAD year fo dems, but good year for the TP. We have seen what these "grassroots' people (TP) are all about.
    Please don't send this arrogant, know-nothing, pompous, bigmouth back to Congress in 2012!! Let hims find some work and pay his BACK child support, but not on TAXPAYER dollar.

    September 2, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. conspiracys4us

    This man has problems. He hasn't supported his 3 children by his wife, but he can take his girlfriend on vacation and supplement his campaign – the catholic thing to do. Then he rages at President Obama like a raging ingrate – on Youtube no less. The man thinks highly of himself I can say that. But he is going to bring his constituents ideas on job creation back to the President. The thing is the President is gracious enough that he would still talk to this very, very troubled idiot.

    September 2, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Mike Franz

    Mr.Walsh what is it exactly that you are bringing attention too.What form of of political theater are you engaging in.One that brings attention to you and not the President of the United States,One that brings attention to you and not the millions of unemployed who are desperate to here that the President and Congress are going to work in a bipartisan way to solve Americas problems.No you go ahead and work on your political campaign in Illinois.You might be fooling your constitutions

    September 2, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  18. cindy

    This thing needs a muzzle and or a trip to the psych ward for medication adjustment. he's the idiot.

    September 2, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Mike Franz

    constituents.But your not fooling us.See you at the theatre.

    September 2, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    while you're at it congressman Walsh, I hope you're paying your back child support. Well I give him this much credit at least he said he was sorry for calling the president a name. That is FAR more than some other Tea Party members of Congress would do and I'm sure he won't be getting thumbs up from the right wing talk show hosts like Limbuagh and Beck for doing this.

    September 2, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. beevee

    This has become pattern with the GOP crooks. Make daming comments about president Obama , wait until it gets out to the public through the media and then issue an apology. Pigs.

    September 2, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. informed voter

    “To me this is nothing but a political move by this president and I simply didn't want to be a pawn in this political theater,” the congressman said. The only political theater being produced is this arrogant, fool"s stunt in refusing to attend a congressional session when the president of our nation calls for it. I only hope the voters in this asinine's district vote him out next election.

    September 2, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. Roseline

    Sorry Joe, but Obama is President of the US, not of the whole free world. That's kind of an insult to other presidents and prime ministers of other "free" countries that we consider our allies, isn't it?

    September 2, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. Tired of the nonsense

    Saying things against the president? According to the GOP and Rush Limbaugh, that means they're working with terrorists. More proof that the republicans are the American Taliban.

    September 2, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. Norm

    What an idiot.

    September 2, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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