08/05/2011 03:55 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2011

Joe Walsh: Child Support Claims 'Wildly Inaccurate,' Will Fight Them Privately

Freshman Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) told supporters at a town hall meeting on Thursday that claims of his sizable missed child support payments are "wildly and off-the-charts inaccurate."

"When I go to my grave a year or 10 or 100 from now, there's only one thing I want on my tombstone, 'He tried to be a hell of a dad,'" Walsh said at the rally, according to the Northwest Herald in Illinois. "This is different because this is personal."

The news of the child support claim first broke in the Chicago Sun-Times last week, which reported the story in the heat of the debt-ceiling debate. The paper got a hold of a court filing by Walsh's ex-wife, seeking $115,294 in back payments with interest.

In her filing, Laura Walsh claims that Joe only paid limited child support from November 2005 through March 2008, and stopped paying altogether at that point.

The congressman refuted that claim in a press release at the time, calling the Sun-Times story a "hit piece." He stepped up his rhetoric against the media at the town hall meeting.

"This is something I'm going to fight, but I'm going to do it privately and legally," Walsh said, according to the Lake in the Hills Patch. "There is no way the media will get me to talk about my three kids. I won't do it!"

As a member of the House of Representatives, Walsh currently makes $175,000 a year.