House Republican Joe Walsh, a Tea Party favorite from Illinois, will not be attending President Barack Obama's Sept. 8 jobs speech, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“I don’t see the point of being a prop for another of the president’s speeches asking for more failed stimulus spending and more subsidies for his pet projects," he said in a statement issued Thursday.
Walsh, a member of the House Small Business Committee, will instead be hosting a small business forum in Illinois. He said he opposes Obama's eagerness to give another major jobs speech before meeting with more constituents.
“The president needs to stop the speeches, get out of his office and away from all the White House academics and start talking to real people out there," Walsh said. "They’re the ones who are going to create the jobs, not White House paper-pushers and bureaucrats.”
Walsh's comments come after Obama embarked on a three-day bus tour through the Midwest to speak with citizens about jobs and the economy. Obama stopped in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, hosting town halls and addressing constituents' concerns about the nation's debt and high unemployment rate.
Walsh also criticized the president and his jobs plan earlier this week, according to the Northwest Herald. He called Obama "idiotic" while speaking to a group of voters in Illinois on August 31.
“How idiotic is this president?” Walsh said. “I don’t want to be disrespectful, but he’s going to bring forth a jobs plan next week. Think about that for a minute. He’s been in office for three years. He’s destroyed job creation systematically for three years.”
Walsh plans to return to Washington Friday morning after the speech.