SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ per month. Save 90%.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ per month. Save 90%.

Joe Walsh ends bid to challenge Trump, calls on Republicans to 'reject' GOP and elect Democrats

Nicholas Wu
USA TODAY

Former Rep. Joe Walsh ended his bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination Friday morning. 

In a tweet, Walsh said he was suspending his campaign, but his "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," he added. 

Walsh acknowledged in a post on his campaign website that "no one, no matter his or her profile, can defeat Donald Trump in a Republican Primary."

Calling the Republican Party a "cult," Walsh said he "was booed off the stage by primary voters when I said we should expect decency and honesty from our President."

Impeachment:In 1999, Bill Clinton was 'humbled' by impeachment. Now, Donald Trump unloads on a 'phony, rotten deal.'

"This is not my party," he said, calling on Republicans to "reject" the current Republican Party and elect Democrats who shared their values. 

Appearing shortly after on CNN's "New Day," he said he would support a Democrat for president over Trump because, "This is such a unique moment in time where we are going to be forced to support any Democrat because he's better than this." 

Walsh mentioned former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as moderate Democratic presidential candidates who could earn support from anti-Trump, moderate Republicans. 

Walsh, who served as a Republican member of Congress from Illinois from 2011 until 2013, launched a primary challenge to Trump in August 2019. 

Iowa updates:Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders in a near tie, with 100% of results published — updates

Iowa:Democratic Party calls for recanvass of Iowa Caucuses paperwork

His candidacy failed to take off, though, struggling to raise money and with polling in the low single digits. Trump still enjoys high support within the Republican Party. 

Trump won about 97% of the vote in the Republican Party's Iowa caucuses earlier this week, whereas Walsh won about 1%, as did former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld. 

Weld is the only remaining major primary challenger to Trump in the 2020 election, though he polls at about 2.7% in the RealClearPolitics average of Republican presidential primary polls. Trump, on the other hand, polls at an average of 88.7%. 

According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, Weld had $36,751.57 cash on hand by the end of 2019. Trump's re-election campaign, by contrast, had $102.7 million cash on hand at the end of the same time period.