WASHINGTON, Feb 7 – Joe Walsh, a conservative former U.S. congressman-turned-radio show host, has ended a long-shot bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
He also said he would support a Democrat in November’s election.
“I can’t stop him (Trump) in a Republican primary, but I can sure do my level best to try to stop him …by bringing people together,” Walsh told CNN in an interview on Friday.
“Any Democrat would be better than Trump in the White House,” he said later.
Last week, Walsh was loudly rebuked by an Iowa caucus crowd when he sarcastically asked the gathering if they wanted “four more years of the Trump show.”
Trying to rally support for his challenge to President Donald Trump for the 2020 GOP presidential nomination, Walsh drew an immediate “yes” from one person in the crowd followed by a swell of cheers.
Former Rep Joe Walsh @WalshFreedom concludes by saying that if people want “4 more years of the @realDonaldTrump show… He is then cut off by the crowd who yell “yes!” and applaud loudly #IACaucus #Elections2020 pic.twitter.com/8pZLpGaSko
— Alex Plitsas (@alexplitsas) February 4, 2020
Walsh was elected to a congressional seat in Illinois in 2010 as part of the right-wing Tea Party movement, a confrontational populist splinter group of the Republican Party. He lost his seat two years later to Democrat Tammy Duckworth and became a Chicago-area radio talk show host.
Former South Carolina lawmaker Mark Sanford ended his bid for the party’s nomination in November. Another Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, has failed to gain traction in polls.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Makini Brice and Susan Heavey; editing by John Stonestreet. Pluralist contributed to this report.)