Who is Joe Walsh, the Republican running against Trump for president?

Joe Walsh, former Illinois congressman and current conservative radio host, announced Sunday that he will challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2020.

>> Read more trending news  

Scroll down to continue reading

More news from KIRO 7


Walsh, 57, is made the announcement of his candidacy on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" Sunday.

Walsh told Politico on Wednesday that he had heard from people across the country who have urged him to take Trump on.

"If I'm to do it, it's going to happen soon," Walsh told Politico. "I've been really surprised by the amount of anxiousness from people across the spectrum who want this president to have a challenge because there's just a real concern that he's absolutely unfit."

Walsh was a one-time supporter of Trump, tweeting in the fall of 2016, "On November 8th, I'm voting for Trump. On November 9th, if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket. You in?"

According to the latest Gallup poll, Trump has the support of 88% of Republicans. That number is higher in other polls.

Add to that the fact that Trump has some $150 million in his campaign coffers and the difficulty of Walsh's challenge becomes apparent.

When asked by Politico whether he could raise enough money to make a run at Trump for the nomination, Walsh said, "Abso-freaking-lutely. There's a drumbeat from a lot of people out there for somebody who wants to take this on."

Who is Walsh? Here's a look at the man who may take on Trump for the GOP nomination.

  • Walsh was born in North Barrington, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
  • He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1985 and earned a master's degree in public policy in 1991.
  • He was an actor for a while in the mid-1980s.
  • He had been married twice and has three children and two stepchildren.
  • Walsh was a social worker and taught American government and American history at area colleges.
  • According to the biography he posted during his time in Congress, Walsh worked with groups "focused on raising early-stage investment capital for new and small businesses and entrepreneurs."
  • Walsh was elected to the House in 2010 backed by the Tea Party.
  • Before he was elected to the House, he lost both a U.S. House election and an Illinois State House election.
  • He lost his bid for re-election to the House in 2012. During that election cycle, his ex-wife said he had failed to pay child support. The two settled the issue later and his ex-wife said he was not a "deadbeat dad."
  • Walsh began his radio career on March 25, 2013. "The Joe Walsh Show" debuted on Chicago's talk station WIND. It airs daily in several major cities.
  • The program is syndicated nationally on the Salem Radio Network, and Walsh joined Newsmax TV in May 2018.
  • Walsh has made several controversial statements on his radio program including racial issues, his support for Trump and one about Jimmy Kimmel's revelation of his infant son's heart problem.