Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who recently made news for criticizing his opponent’s willingness to talk about her military service, has a new target: President Obama. A Democratic tracker caught Walsh calling the president “son,” and saying he wanted to “pat him on the head.”
At a campaign barbecue in his district Sunday, Walsh was explaining what he hopes will be the tea party’s role in the election:
“There’s something different on the ground, and I think it’s going to overtake us all again, think it’s going to overtake the political class. I think it’s going to respectfully pick this president up and pat him on the head and say, son, son, son, Mr. President, you were never ready to be president, now go home and work for somebody and find out how the real world works.”
Here’s a clipped video, posted by Walsh critics (full context is below):
Color of Change, a progressive advocacy group said the Walsh line was “racially inflammatory.”
“Once again, Rep. Joe Walsh has decided to stoke racial fears about President Barack Obama in order to leverage support for his own campaign,” Color Of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson said in a statement. “His comments not only demonstrate the lack of respect for President Obama’s position, but also for the millions of American voters who elected him into office in 2008.”
Walsh says the flap is much ado about nothing.
“My first reaction was to laugh,” Walsh told a local radio talk show Thursday. “I don’t know who this group was and I would love to look them in the eyes and say, ‘Get a life.’”
Walsh said he was just “having fun” when he made the remarks.
Walsh said that “every time anybody criticizes [Obama], the racist card is thrown out.”
Listen to the full audio of Walsh’s response here.
Here’s the full context of Walsh’s remarks, obtained by TPM. The “son” remarks happen around the 7:55 mark.