Former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh, the radio show host challenging President Donald Trump, was once heavily critical of his main political backer, Bill Kristol, calling the neoconservative pundit “irrelevant,” and an “out of touch establishment twit.”
“It’s time to retire, my friend,” Walsh said on March 31, 2017.
On June 2, 2016, he wrote that Kristol “should just stay in Israel,” seemingly as the Weekly Standard founder was visiting the country during the presidential campaign.
.@BillKristol should just stay in Israel. For the next 5 months or so. Keep looking for that 3rd candidate while he's over there.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) June 2, 2016(Article Continues Below Advertisement)
Walsh wrote on Jan. 25, 2018 that Kristol was suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” a pejorative term used to describe Trump critics.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) January 25, 2018
“Dear Bill Kristol…you’re irrelevant,” Walsh tweeted on June 29, 2017.
On Sept. 28, 2017, Walsh called his future supporter an “out of touch establishment twit.”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) September 28, 2017
But much as Walsh has changed his tune on Trump (he was a Trump supporter until last year), the one-term Republican lawmaker seems to have flip-flopped on Kristol.
Kristol, who now runs the “Never Trump” website, The Bulwark, is perhaps the highest-profile Republican supporting Walsh, a Tea Party Republican who was voted out of office in Illinois after one term. Kristol has searched for more than a year for a Republican to challenge Trump. With few takers, he has been forced to throw his weight behind Walsh, who announced on Sunday that he will mount a primary challenge of Trump.
Walsh admitted on Monday that he has sent racist tweets, including some using the “n-word” and calling President Obama a Muslim. Walsh also interviewed and endorsed Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist who challenged Paul Ryan last year, in an Aug. 14, 2017 radio interview.
But none of that has deterred Kristol.
He told The New York Times for an article published Tuesday that Walsh had already overcome the controversy surrounding his tweets, and would pose a “real problem” for Trump.
Kristol said that Walsh had “made it through a rough patch and he deserves to have a rough patch, given the things he said.”
“I think he’s making it through and will be a real problem for Trump, in part because he voted for Trump and he’s a populist conservative,” he added.
Walsh, who did not respond to a request for comment, appears to have accepted the support from Kristol and pretty much anyone who has expressed support for him.
“Good stuff here by @BillKristol,” he wrote on July 3. “Important read for America today.”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 3, 2019
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