U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) made a comment already familiar to followers of the Tea Party favorite over the weekend: that President Obama is a "historic figure" who was only elected because he is African-American.
Walsh made his latest iteration of the comment Sunday during a town hall event in Wheeling, Ill., Think Progress reports.
"He was a historic figure. He’s our first African-American president. The country voted for him because of that. It made us feel good about [our]self." Walsh said, according to Think Progress. "I’ve said it before, it helped that John McCain was about 142 years old. It helped that the economy was tanking. A lot of these things helped. But he never would have gotten there without his historic nature."
The full Walsh program has been posted online, and the video suggests that the town hall event was attended by a sparse audience -- apparently between eight and ten people.
Last fall, the first-term congressman commented that the media protected Obama from criticism because of his race. Previously, he told Slate's David Weigel that Obama was elected because he was black and "articulate," and once again accused the media of being "in love" with the president.
"Why was he elected? Again, it comes back to who he was. He was black, he was historic," Walsh told Weigel. "And there’s nothing racist about this. It is what it is. If he had been a dynamic, white, state senator elected to Congress he wouldn’t have gotten in the game this fast. This is what made him different. That, combined with the fact that your profession . . . not you, but your profession, was just absolutely compliant. They made up their minds early that they were in love with him."
Walsh has continually attacked Obama, once calling him "idiotic" and last year refusing to attend a joint session of Congress for the president's jobs speech, which he called "political theater."
Earlier this year, Walsh, in an interview with Politico, stressed the importance of getting Obama out of office. He said that Mitt Romney as a "boring" candidate was still a better presidential option than a "sexy Messiah."
Walsh will face Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth in this fall's heated 8th District congressional race. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted the district as a key seat to win back for Democrats, and state redistricting will make it harder for the Tea Party icon to win re-election in November.
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