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. Bessy

    I guess his line must have been busy when Rush called to tell him that he cannot apologize.

    September 2, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. LegendRx

    America are bursting at the seams with losers, from the house to the senate, all are losers. Obama is the only one with since. A true leader. His leadership is so beyond the scoop of america with her conventional and out dated intellect. Blame the black guy for Corporate greed, lies and the republican party pissing on the middle glass leg like a filthy mangy dog while we the people stand around watching our lives crumble right before our very eyes. What happened to America and its dreams. We achieved the ultimate of dreams in 2008, only to have the republican party try to turn it into a nightmare. Due to relentless hatred and bigotry. The republican party is telling America, The american dream was just meant to be an Idea, a con, the infamous virtual carrot chase. Obama was not suppose to catch that rabbit. What an "Idiot"

    September 2, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  3. Hammerer

    You know that you can not call the only adult in DC an idiot.

    September 2, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. TEA PARTY Mike

    Not a good choice of words for a member of congress. He was right to apologize.
    I wonder if TEA PARTY Republicans in congress should wait any longer for an apology from Representives Carson or Waters? Stupid question, of course not.

    September 2, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. tnwoman1948

    At least President Obama takes care of and financially supports his children unlike Congressman Walsh who is being sued for back child support by his ex-wife to the tune of thousands of dollars.

    September 2, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. C. Howe Yulikit

    How's the wife and kids, Joe? Broke? Curious as to why.

    September 2, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. Dennis

    Why don't you just go home, period. If you haven't already talked to your people and gotten their ideas, what have you been doing??? Certainly not your job. Been to busy kissing lobbyists behind?

    September 2, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  8. Ed Texas

    I think he has proven who the idiot is. This isn't the first time Tea Bagger Walsh has put his foot in his mouth and been childish and disrespectful towwards the President. I don't think the guy has any respect for America, let alone the office of the Presidency. He needs to be retired in 2012. We don't need morons like him in our government unless the goal is to destroy our gorvernment which so many GOP/Tea Baggers are trying to do.

    September 2, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. Indy

    “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.

    Yet that is all Republicans havr been asking of Obama ? They keep asking for a job creation from the President.I will tell you what is idiotic is,and that is the complete failure of the last 12 years for the Republicans trickle down economics. 100% proof for 12 years that it does NOT work.When the boss of the free world cals you for a meeting You come, end of story. The disrespect for this President has made the US the laughing stock of the world thanks to Republicans.

    September 2, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. Jeetu

    If you republicans would really talk with American people, you will find out that they do not approve of the way you are behaving in the house and the senate. It is clear that republicans have no ideas of their own to help the economy or creation of jobs. All they want to do and can do is to make rich people richer at the expense of middle class and poor people.

    I also find this apology from Mr. Joe to be empty gesture as he is still justifying why he said "idiotic" If he apologized, then there would not have been a justification. Republicans don't care for American people, they are concerned about them get re-elected and ensuring that President Obama fails and is not re-elected. This is shameful on their part.

    September 2, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    He's a one-termer – what makes him think the President doesn't ALREADY know what folks in Illinois think - he know that state better than Walsh.

    Walsh needs to save his money and pay his child support (about $100,000 behind at last count). What a deadbeat loser.

    September 2, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Republican

    Joe – u r an idiot ! I wonder why the people from Illinois would not see through u and your knucklehead ideas.

    September 2, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. Realitybites

    This guy is so full of it. First of all, to accuse the president of reviving old jobs ideas??? Tax breaks for the rich anyone? I'm 41 and that idea was proven dead before I graduated high school; yet it is still chanted by republicans today. Now formed in the context of 'tax reform", wink wink. #2, This guy is going back to talk to his small jobs constituents about ideas? Are you kidding me? 6 months and counting and the Republican house still hasn't done squat about proposing legislation to improve jobs. Why? because either they don't have a clue (probable), or they don't want to forward anything that could possibly make this president look good (likely). It continues to escape me why people vote for clowns like this.

    September 2, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Paid the child support?

    September 2, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. Martha in CF

    Mr Walsh–I think you have an anger management problem.........You better start showing some respect for our President. I hope your party calls you out on it............I am sure, however, that is very unlikely. YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG IS WASHINGTON-YOU AND YOUR ANGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please stop with the money thing-sounds like you can't handle yours....

    September 2, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I guess Walsh found out he was standing alone because nobody chimmed in with him, just like they didn't with Joe Wilson, they distanced themselves from him also. Joe Wilson thought he would get redemption by getting sick but nobody cared.

    September 2, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. diridi

    These Republicans are nation's number 1 bastards....o.k, Because president is black, this drama....o.k, what an idiots....Tea thugs, and GOP idiots....

    September 2, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. Freedom 2012

    Go Walsh. Liberals can attack him, but he is a great leader.

    September 2, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. Clwyd

    the idiots or idiotic people I see out there right now are the republican loony tunes running for president and Mr. Walsh!

    September 2, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. Ray

    It live in Illinois this guy is a idiot a racist and dead beat idiot

    September 2, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. d

    Omg! this is almost funny ! do you know how many times i have seen this same person berating the president about jobs? where are the jobs mr pres? friggin pathetic! but what can you expect from the gop? it is threir job not the presidents!

    September 2, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  22. Cindy

    Why would anyone apologize for speaking the truth.

    September 2, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  23. KathyC in Minnesota

    Rep. Joe Walsh is the real IDIOT and those who voted for him are as well.

    Hey Joe! How about paying your back Child Support of $117,000?? You seemed to have an extra $35,000 lying around to loan your 2010 Congressional run! Look in the mirror Joe!!!

    September 2, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. d

    Walsh i am sure our president does not care for your apology! you sir are pathetic. disrespectful and wrong. i know why dont u take a few more weeks off...really you are doing nothing in any case take ur buddies in the gop with you Please!

    September 2, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  25. Julie

    rep. Walsh – becoming Illinois most famous deadbeat dad. Ex wife says he owes $117,000 in back child support plus an additiional 9 or 10 grand for things he was suppose to help pay for for his kids. Also being sued by former staff who says he owes them 20 grand – Walsh says that in going to be settled, but we don't hear anything about the dad obligations. He should just sit down and shut up; Don't think he has room to call anybody anything.

    September 2, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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