Washington (AFP) – Former Illinois congressman and conservative talk show host Joe Walsh announced Friday that he was ending his quixotic effort to challenge President Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination.
“I am ending my candidacy for president of the United States,” he said on CNN after a dismal showing in the Republican caucuses in Iowa on Monday.
The former member of the extremely conservative Tea Party wing of the Republicans decided last August to challenge for the nomination, calling Trump unfit for office.
“Somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative,” he said at the time.
“The country is sick of this guy’s tantrums,” Walsh said.
“He’s erratic. He’s cruel. He stokes bigotry. He’s incompetent… He’s a narcissist,” he said.
A member of a small but vocal camp of “Never Trumper” Republicans, Walsh faced a steep uphill battle, given the president’s intense popularity now in the party.
Trump garnered 97.1 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses Monday, the first test in the four- month battle for the nomination.
Another Trump challenger, Bill Weld, pulled in 1.3 percent while Walsh got only 1.1 percent.
Walsh told CNN Friday that the Republican Party had become a “cult” around Trump and that he would vote for the Democratic nominee in the November election.
“I want to stop Trump. I believe he’s a threat to this country,” Walsh said.
“Any Democrat would be better than Trump in the White House,” he said.