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. justathought

    There's a difference?

    September 2, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. SecedingfromTexas

    You know what you can do with your pseudo-apology. We know the tea/can agenda, we know this is your M.O.
    and, frankly, it is getting old and pathetic. You are so thick headed you don't realize that you are
    already a pawn in the world of Koch. No one takes you, or anyone of your ilk seriously anymore. We see you
    attack the President at every turn and attack each other. If you are so stupid that you think not attending the
    speech is some great gesture, think again. Nobody cares if you are there or not.

    September 2, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  3. w l jones

    Including minus one day pay...on a real job. Bless.

    September 2, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. Grand Oil (and Tea) Partiers

    Tick tock Walsh, enjoy your one and only term. Pay your child support scumbag.

    September 2, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  5. Vanessa

    He's the idiot! & he proves it everytime he opens his mouth! Please Mr president, we know u want to b above all critism you receive on a daily basis, but please don't let them disrespect you! You are the president, commander in chief! We, the American people stand behing you!! This disrespect has to stop!!

    September 2, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Mike kerns

    What Walsh meant to say is I will cause as much trouble for the president as possible. With Republicans you have to read between there lies.

    September 2, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    Why would he need to go home to talk to them? He has been free to do that fr the last five weeks. That excuse doesn't hold water plus the only response he will come back with will be Tax Cuts for big businesses. What a flake. What he needs to do is get caught up on his child support payments. Who wants a "Deadbeat Dad" for a congressman?

    September 2, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. Salty Bob

    The insolence of U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, is shown here he dose not understand; There are more things in heaven and earth Joe Than are dreamt of in your philosophy; What a piece of work you are how ignoble your words and actions therefore as a stranger I see you, as I Journey to undiscovere'd country, from where No traveller returns. when the memory of you fades as the raging of a storm subsides The evil that you do will fade as well, President Obama has and will do many great things even with such as you standing in his way I shall not look upon his like again. to face people such as you with no honor. So fade fade into the passing night never to be seen again.

    September 2, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  9. FIELD1stSGT

    The truth is the truth and I damn sure wouldn' back down on saying it.

    September 2, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  10. Larry L

    Another Republican trying to capture the love of the Tea Party. The process is easy to predict... First you say something stupid, unfounded or just hateful. Second, you act like you're sincerely sorry, overcome by the love of America and too much of a patriot to just remain silent. Third, you add a revised statement that shows you aren't really sorry but you tried to cover your butt for saying something stupid. We need adults in Congress – clearly this isn't one of them.

    September 2, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. FIELD1stSGT

    The truth is the truth and I damn sure wouldn' back down on saying it. You were so right in saying, "The media was bypassing on Obama and not questioning him on anything. The liberal media are making fools of themselves over this worthless, two bit lying, fraud."

    September 2, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. lisa2010

    how come whenever a republican say something stupid about the president, they always apoligize after? the first words than comes out of their mouths is their true feelings.. no respect for the office of presidency.. and yet most of them are running for the position..

    September 2, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  13. Wellthen

    See how disrespectful these young punks are? They know nothing.

    September 2, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  14. brainiac3397

    Good thing they apologized for one of their many dumb comments. They call Obama everything but apologize for calling him idiotic,i see something wrong. "He isn't American, He's a muslim terrorist supporter, He's weak" but they never apologize and one guy calls him idiotic and apologizes. I think there are more apologies in line.

    September 2, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Debbie from Arizona

    Joe Walsh is a disgrace to Illinois. I certainly hope he is a one term Congressman.

    September 2, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. Dee

    Walsh sould be kicked out of office he does not respect the President of the US and the Office of the President of the US.
    This is not about politics it is about a man of Color in the White House. If the President had been white none of this stuff would be happening. No other President has been denigrated with racial overtones like him.

    President Obama has a quiet demeanor but he is not stupid he is very smart and just sitting back and letting them hang themselves. Governor Chris Christie is going to be their worst nightmare he just said his state is hurting and he didn't want to hear anything about this deficit mess he needed help.

    This President will come out I believe different he has bent over backwards for them but I believe we are going to see a different President Obama because he does not like to lose.

    September 2, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    No, what's idiotic is the Republicans' (and teabaggers') insistence that lowering taxes on the rich will create jobs HERE IN THE U.S. (overseas, yes; here, no).

    What's also idiotic is Republican voters' inability to accept that their party's economic, military and foreign policies ARE PROVEN FAILURES.

    Lastly, it's idiotic that voters continue to vote Republican when history shows our country fairs better under Democratic administrations (surely, folks remember the surplus Clinton left us and which GW Bush squandered).

    September 2, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. David in Houston

    Ridiculous. This man should be voted out of congress. Regardless of how you feel about Obama, he is still the President.


    September 2, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  19. uscentral

    Joe: you were elected by your constituents to represent them in Washington, not to push your own agenda. I accept that you are working on your own plan to employ americans. I'll wait here to see your plan. Thanks

    September 2, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  20. skarphace

    Republicans: Obama is a monkey. Oops, sorry, we didn't mean that in a derogatory manner.

    Republicans: Obama is a tar-bably. Come on, we are sorry. Stop callin us racists. It is getting old.

    Republicans: Obama is an idiot. See, that wasn't racist. Ok, we are sorry anyway. Really. This time we mean it.

    September 2, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  21. skarphace

    Doh! *baby*

    September 2, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  22. Helen

    This man is a rude, classless, disgusting bigot. I happened to watch his interview with Martin Bashu on MSNBC and he is horrible. Martin reamed him out, backed him into a corner and basically put him in his place. He has no respect for the President of the United States and should not be in the Government. Where are they getting these people from? Out of the woodwork!! He only won his set with 291 votes anyway. Can't Speaker Boehemer keep his clan in check. They are all getting out of hand.

    September 2, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  23. sqeptiq

    Ostensible leaders like Joe Walsh are doing everything in their power to make it impossible for a Republican president to administer this country and the sad thing is that the poor mooks aren't even smart enough to realize it. Just as Krushchev's "de-stalinization" program forever delegitimized Soviet personality cult leadership, Walsh and ilk are making it impossible for presidents to lead.

    September 2, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  24. zip

    This guy makes Donald Trump look classy

    September 2, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. annette

    everyone is quick to blame obama for this economy. i am not happy with obama but the republicans are so negative about this president. ever since obama took office the repubs/tparty have voted against everything and anything the president tries to accomplish. i blame both parties for the economy but the republicans have nothing to offer except saying "NO" to help this economy move forward. the republicans is what is holding this country back.

    September 2, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
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