Former US congressman Joe Walsh (R-Naturally)? Lost by ten points last month to double amputee Iraq vet Tammy Duckworth? After he openly mocked her and said she wasn’t a “true hero”?
Turns out he now wants to run for Dick Durbin’s Senate seat. Durbin is the senior Senator from Illinois, the current Majority Whip, and has been in the Senate since 1997.
“People want me to look at that race among others. Fair to say it’s something I’m being encouraged to take a look at, and will take a hard look at, once I get settled in the next couple of months,” Walsh said.
Asked who was urging him on, Walsh responded: “The best kind of people in the world — real people, activists, conservatives and every day Republicans all over the state.”
The 50-year-old Walsh got thumped by Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth in the 8th congressional District after a bitter campaign in which he accused her of talking excessively about her military service and criticized her for dwelling over her choice of a dress for the Democratic National Convention.
Those off-the-cuff rants would remain prime fodder for Democrats should Walsh run again.
Indeed. From Wikipedia:
At a July 2012 campaign event, Walsh accused his opponent of politicizing both her military service as a helicopter pilot and her Iraq War injuries which cost her both legs and the partial use of one arm. He said, “My God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about.” Walsh later suggested that she was, in fact, a “true hero,” but that she should not talk about her service so frequently, and that her service should not command votes.
But that’s not all. In May 2011 Walsh said that President Obama was elected “because he pushed that magical button: a black man who was articulate, liberal, the whole white guilt, all of that.” This past October he told reporters that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of the mother, saying that “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a medically necessary abortion. And in August 2011 the Chicago Tribune reported that Walsh lost his driving privileges for three months earlier that year because he let his insurance lapse. In response, Walsh criticized the Tribune for “wasting time and ink” scrutinizing his driving record rather than wasteful government spending.
Walsh knows about not spending, all right. Wikipedia notes that his ex-wife Laura sued him in 2011 for $117,437 to collect six years’ worth of past-due child support for three of their children. Walsh told her that he didn’t have the money because he was out of work: but she later saw from his campaign disclosures that he had been employed. Oops. His attorney said that Walsh did not owe “anywhere near that amount,” and that he had had no more problems paying child support than “any other average guy.” (Walsh’s financial problems inspired the proposal of a bill which would forbid people owing more than $10,000 in back child support from running for office in Illinois.)
This past April, just before the campaign kicked into high gear, they reached a settlement and the case was dismissed. Walsh himself issued a statement on behalf of himself and his ex-wife which read, in part:
“Having resolved these issues together and cleared up these mistakes in private, we now agree that Joe is not and was not a ‘deadbeat dad’ and does not owe child support.”
Asked about a potential match-up with the firebrand congressman, Durbin’s campaign manager Mike Daly replied:
“We’d be delighted if Mr. Walsh were a candidate.”