Joe Walsh Participates in Ag Forum in Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, currently running a long-shot campaign against President Donald Trump for the Republican Party nomination, sharply criticized the Republican Party and President Trump at an agriculture forum in Des Moines.
Walsh participated in the Farmers, Soil and Climate 2020 Presidential Forum Saturday at Franklin Jr. High School in Des Moines. The event was held in the school’s auditorium and included a variety of speakers in addition to surrogates from nearly all of the Democratic presidential campaigns.
The crowd was sparse, and the room was mostly empty when Walsh spoke. Many of the attendees were dressed in suits and professional clothing, which seemed odd for an event that was billed as a forum for candidates to discuss agricultural and environmental policy.
Walsh, who was elected to Congress in 2010 as a member of the Tea Party movement, spent nearly all of his time talking about climate change. But on Saturday, he had harsh words for his political party.
“This nation would be much better off if we had two vibrant, engaged political parties,” he said. “The Democrat Party is a vibrant, engaged party. My party, the Republican Party, is not a party right now, it’s a cult.” The crowd, which seemed to be mostly liberal-leaning attendees, cheered loudly after Walsh referred to the Republican Party as a cult.
Walsh also took aim at his former colleagues, many of whom he said were too scared to question President Trump’s views on climate change.
“Most Republicans do not believe it’s a hoax,” he said. “They’re afraid to speak out as long as Donald Trump is in the White House.”
During his speech, the crowd seemed mostly disinterested. But he got the biggest applause of the day when he called for bipartisanship.
“One party is not going to solve this problem,” he said. “Even if you’re a sincere, genuine Democrat, you’ve got to be pulling for the Republican Party to get out of the spell it’s under.”
I talked to a few voters in the room after Mr. Walsh spoke. The general consensus seemed to be that they liked that he was challenging the President. However, many of them said they were Democrats and were unlikely to participate in the Republican nominating process anyway.
Despite his criticism of the President and the Republican Party, Walsh offered no specifics on how he would address climate change.
Walsh will be back in Iowa Friday, January 31, to drop the puck at the Iowa Wild game as part of the team’s “Wild About Voting” night.