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. KansasGirl

    When will the CBC apologize for stating that the TeaParty wants to hang blacks in trees? This isn't over folks.

    September 3, 2011 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  2. Tea Party Downgrade

    Everyday someone is trying to bring own this President.

    September 3, 2011 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  3. Tea Party Downgrade

    Everyday someone tries to bring down this President.
    This is their strategy to make the President appear ineffective.

    September 3, 2011 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  4. Infinity Circle

    Face it, this man is clueless. He's a deadbeat dad, and shows serious signs of being a racist. If a Democrat would have made these statements about Bush, both parties would have demonized him. The lack of respect for the President of the United States from the right side of the aisle at this point in time is simply mind boggling.

    September 3, 2011 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  5. great mind

    well well , they the republicans say obama is not doing enough about the jobs in america then when he states a plan its all political i guess this nigga cannot ever win or get anything right for these white people in congress so i guess they will be happy when a white a man or women for that matter will be back in control. of the country...dam how sad.. we just took three steps back...good luck are going to hell enjoy the ride

    September 3, 2011 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  6. thomas

    U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Illinois is a moronic self centered egotistical self serving obstructionist disrespectful punk.

    And if we ever meet I will think of other truthful sayings such as arrogant , narcissistic , charlatan.

    September 3, 2011 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  7. Dave

    This guy won election by less than 300 votes. Redistricting in 2012 may put him out of a job. I think these outbursts are a may for him to angle for a job at Fox News.

    He was pretty quiet over the summer after the news his former wife was suing him for back child support.

    September 3, 2011 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  8. Marry

    The disrespect towards the President has reached a new low with some people. The GOP/TP has a way to undermine and obstruct the work of the president that leaves one speechless! The pure loathing that is spread day by day has nothing whatever to do with “criticism” but is ONLY falsehoods and hate!
    Anyone that votes for any of these GOP/TP people puts themself into the same disgusting corner. These (Christian???) people should be utterly ashamed of themselves!

    September 3, 2011 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  9. Angy

    you said what you meant. you people are a piece of work. This is the most disrespected president in the history of the USA. Whether you agree with him or not, show some respect. sad,sad,sad.

    September 3, 2011 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  10. matt houston

    Obama idiotic? Hardly...spineless yes, but idiotic no way. He's tried his best to help America and has been met with pouting faces and all kinds of names in the name-calling book and be it. If Republicans would rather see America go into the toilet again than let this fella do his job...then they are the traitors. Oh yes, lots of Einstein Republican Armchair Presidents at home like to say Obama is trying to destroy America...Yeah, that's how smart you guys are...Because lord knows it's in Obama best interest to fail or to destroy America. That way, he's sure to get re-elected...and he will set an example for all white people to see how awesome a minority president will be...oh wait....

    The Republicans have already done that. They don't want America to get too comfy with the idea of it being normal to have minority presidents so they'll risk the welfare of the entire country to make him look bad and instill fear in the minds of white Americans towards minority candidates. Like I didn't see that coming a hundred miles away.

    September 3, 2011 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  11. matt houston

    "“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.”

    Now put those words in a non-republican's mouth and listen to the hypocritical cries of "disrespect to the President!" or "Unamerican!!!" or "Unpatriotic".... These GOP monkeys need to all get fired. And any Democrat who doesn't have the spine to stand up to them needs to go too. I'm talking to you Obama.

    September 3, 2011 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  12. ahetch

    Hey Walsh, just go home and pay your back child support. You are a dead beat dad and have no business calling anyone anything. You Wash are a loser.

    September 3, 2011 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  13. taylor

    you people elected this nutcase, deadbeat dad, the republican party is riddled
    with his ilk, this is what Obama has to deal with, trash.

    September 3, 2011 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  14. Verg

    "president of the free world" So tired of alll the "mis-speakings" from our politicians. It is time to hold them accountable for the nonsense they spew. Along with the hate speech. They are not helping us at all. Have we all forgotten what President Lincoln said "A house divided against itself cannot stand"? If they are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.

    September 3, 2011 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  15. cole

    Americans are so rude to their President , disrespectful bunch!

    September 3, 2011 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  16. Ellen L

    Typical Tea Party idiocy (yes, I mean to call him an idiot): "I can't have my way, so I'm not going to participate." Does he not understand what the job of a Congressman is? We do have an adversarial system that requires NEGOTIATION. Most American voters are sick to death of this "my way or the highway" behavior in congress.

    September 3, 2011 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  17. Marie MD

    was walsh showing us the size of his manhood?
    Another teatard insulting the President and then taking it back. It's a fact that once the words are out of your mouth, and this is what you really mean, you an't take it back!
    I was speaking to an elderly neighbor of mine this past week. She blames the President for all the ills of the world. Of course, her TV viewing all day is faux news which, according to her, are fair and balanced. I didn't realize what a racist this little old lady is either. She didn't know that turtle man, among other teatrds, had said that they want the President to be a one term president and that they are doing everything possible to tank the country. I told her to change the channel very so often and maybe even watch the senate and house spew their hate. Maybe she will get it but I really doubt it!

    September 3, 2011 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  18. Kevin

    The ability of the legislator is directly related to their ability to communicate and negotiate. Walsh would be wise to "listen" to the President as that is the first step in communication. Through understanding of the opponents position one can wisely and purposefully counter with suggested changes...reaching a compromise for the constituents who elected him. Failing to show up and listen, in this situation, is a poor example of leadership and is the same "political theater" that Walsh alleges of the President. Walsh, grow-up, wake-up, and do what you were elected to do...and stop your own upcoming-election-pandering. We see through this and it doesn't sit well with the American people. STOP IT AND DO YOUR JOB!

    September 3, 2011 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  19. Russ from Md

    I don't know. I think idiot is right. Worse president in my life time.

    September 3, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  20. cole

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Americans are so rude to their President , disrespectful bunch!

    September 3, 2011 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  21. GonzoinHouston

    Too easy. The opportunities for sarcasm and cutting humor are just too obvious. Pass.

    September 3, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  22. Greg

    You know who's an idiot, a man who makes $174,000 and wont pay his child support. Would expect nothing less from a teabagger. Where's your job plan Walsh? Defunding NPR?

    September 3, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  23. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    What's idiotic is claiming to be a caring fiscally responsible "conservative" while screwing your family and ex-wife. However, it's true that it is idiotic for President Obama to expect any support from the brainwashed cult members that make up the vast majority of today's GOBP.

    September 3, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  24. R. Neil Fuller

    Dear Representative Walsh,What have you been during your recess for the last month? Would not this have been the oppropriate tine to be interviewing your constituents and then be receptive to what the president might have to say. You might also learn something!

    September 3, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  25. Emma

    know that joe wLSH IS AN IDIOT.He is feeding the mean Spirit that is the spirit that is so prevelant in america today. No matter what he say he is a prejudice person.Predisident Obhama is a Black person who has acheived the highest office in america. We know the rest. If it was a white man in office this issue would not come in to play, Ifor one is tied of these prejudice people saying what is actually on their mind then coming back to apologize when they have already put how they really feel in the first comment.

    September 3, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
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