Tea Party-backed U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh has never been shy about criticizing the "mainstream" Republican party, and during a suburban Chicago Tea Party meeting over the weekend, he once again took a swing at longtime Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Walsh has previously accused McCain of being in Washington "too long" and said he was out of touch with the American people. While discussing the upcoming presidential race, Walsh told the crowd that he understood if they weren't thrilled with McCain as a presidential candidate in 2008, but urged them to vote Republican no matter what this time around.
"Three years ago, if you told me you weren't going to vote for president because John McCain didn't do much for you, I would have absolutely understood," Walsh told the West Suburban Patriots. "McCain was what, about 132 years old? I understood."
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Walsh went on to say that America is in "such a different place now," and claimed that President Barack Obama is "destroying what makes this country great."
Urging the crowd to help him "save this thing" -- presumably America -- he repeated an earlier statement that conservative voters should support any GOP nominee to help get Obama and other Democrats out of Washington.
"If the name Mitt Romney doesn't exactly get you all fired up, tough," Walsh said. "If Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul ... if you don't think he's the great savior that's gonna deliver this America back to us ... tough! I can tell you, whoever my nominee is, if it's Mitt Romney, doesn't matter to me. I am gonna run through a wall to get that person elected."
Facing falling poll numbers and a reported money shortage, Walsh in January said that his top priority was "removing Obama" from office, adding that he cared about that more than his own race in Illinois' 8th Distict.
During the weekend meeting, however, he said he was prepared to face Democrat Tammy Duckworth in November.
Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran and former assistant secretary of veterans affairs, is running against former deputy State Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi in a March 20 Democratic primary.
"I am the single, number one target of the White House," Walsh added.