In the days leading up to Tax Day Tuesday, Tea Party-affiliated U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) made the rounds to a series of Tea Party rallies in Illinois, calling for his constituents to "grow up" and touting the purchase of his new campaign ride: a used RV.
On Saturday, Walsh participated in Huntley's third annual Tax Day rally, and told supporters there that, when it comes to the fall election, "If we don’t get this right, we may lose this thing we call America," Patch reports.
"We don’t have an election to win. We don’t have a few elections to win. We have a country to save," Walsh said Saturday before a crowd of some 60 Tea Party supporters.
The colorful congressman went on to tout the white RV -- emblazoned with the words "It's Time! You Ready?" and "Let's Take Back America -- You In?" -- as the vehicle he will use to travel during his 8th Congressional District campaign against Democrat Tammy Duckworth. NBC Chicago notes that the vehicle, a 1984 Fleetwood Pace Arrow, was purchased for $7,500 in Madison, Wis. Walsh unveiled the RV in a YouTube video that went live Saturday.
On Sunday, Walsh turned up at the Tax Day rally in Rockford where "dozens" of Tea Party members gathered at Sinnissippi Park to see Walsh and U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, who is being challenged in the 17th District downstate by Democratic challenger Cheri Bustos, speak, WIFR reports.
There, Walsh urged his supporters that "it is time for all of us to grow up and get back to the values that made America great: Freedom, individual responsibility, community, limited government, free markets."
The congressman further called for, among a number of other things, job creation "by getting government off the back of small businesses and manufacturers," the end of "career politicians" and "gold-plated health and pension plans for politicians" and illegal immigration.
(Watch video of Congressman Walsh's Rockford Tax Day talk below.)
"We are better than Washington, D.C. thinks we are, but you know what? It's up to us, you, to let us know that," he continued. "We have to grow up. You have to grow up and have the courage to tell your politicians to quit making special rules for themselves."
Walsh also appeared Monday in a Tea Party rally in Chicago's Daley Plaza, joined by Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak and CNN's Dana Loesch, CBS Chicago reports.
According to Walsh, who is getting pronounced support from the national GOP despite his often vocal criticism of party leadership. The congressman claims he is coming off a strong first quarter of fundraising, with $607,150 cash on hand compared to Duckworth's $259,974. Walsh's claim runs contrary to previous reports that the incumbent congressman was struggling in the fundraising department in the first two months of 2012, particularly considering the outstanding debt in child support payments his ex-wife claims he owes her.
Nevertheless, Walsh was trailing Duckworth in an early, pre-primary poll, and redistricting has also put him in a vulnerable position.