Former Rep. Joe Walsh, who served one term in the U.S. House representing Illinois, announced he was suspending his campaign for president Friday after having received less than 1% of the Iowa caucus vote on Monday.
As Right Wing Watch noted in August, Walsh’s candidacy was immediately met with skepticism and dismissal—even from Walsh’s ideologically aligned cohorts in conservative media. It was unclear who exactly Walsh’s base in the modern Trump-worshiping GOP was supposed to be. On Monday, Trump delivered a blowout against Walsh and former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who were contesting Trump on the Republicans ballot. Trump won with an overwhelming 97 percent of the vote.
Walsh, having received just 1.4 percent of the vote, announced the end of his candidacy on Friday. Even National Review noted Walsh’s unwelcome presence in Iowa. Walsh accused the Iowa GOP of doing “did everything they could do to make sure their dictator got 100 percent of the vote, and they almost did,” HuffPost reported.
Walsh told CNN: “Nobody can beat him. It’s Trump’s party, John. It’s not a party—it’s a cult. He can’t be beaten in the Republican primary, so there’s no reason for me, or any candidate really, to be in there. The party has become a cult.” He said that he would do his “level best” to stop Trump by helping to elect “any Democrat” who wins the nomination, even if that Democrat is a socialist.
On Twitter, Walsh announced his campaign suspension and stated: “I’m committed to doing everything I can to defeat Trump and his enablers this November.”
I’m suspending my campaign, but our fight against the Cult of Trump is just getting started. I’m committed to doing everything I can to defeat Trump and his enablers this November. I can’t do it alone. Join me at https://t.co/d40HA9h2Kz.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) February 7, 2020
On his website, Walsh wrote:
Running for President is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Today I announced I’m suspending my candidacy.
The reason is simple: The Republican Party is a cult. No one, no matter his or her profile, can defeat Donald Trump in a Republican Primary.
This was confirmed for me firsthand last week in Iowa when I was booed off the stage by primary voters when I said we should expect decency and honesty from our President.
This is not my party.