It’s being reported in the NY Times that Trump is about to get a new primary challenger, who could announce as soon as this weekend:
Joe Walsh, a conservative radio show host and former Republican congressman from Illinois, is expected to announce he is running for president as early as this weekend, presenting President Trump with a challenger from the right his critics hope will weaken the president in the 2020 election.
Mr. Walsh stands virtually no chance of wresting the Republican presidential nomination from Mr. Trump, whose approval rating with Republican voters is consistently in the high 80s, and whose political aides have been aggressively moving to tighten their control over state parties to thwart primary challenges.
But those encouraging Mr. Walsh, a Tea Party conservative who served one term in the House and went from staunch Trump supporter to acerbic critic, hope he can appeal to reluctant Trump voters who are open to an alternative.
It’s not definitive yet but it seems very likely:
Before his likely announcement, according to two people who have spoken with him, Mr. Walsh has hired a senior political adviser, organized meetings with high-profile Trump antagonists in New York City, and published an Op-Ed in The New York Times with the goal of previewing his campaign message.
Mr. Walsh has yet to definitively say whether he is running. “If I do it, it’s going to be before Labor Day,” he said in an interview.
And guess who is behind him:
Mr. Walsh is being encouraged by William Kristol, the conservative writer and former editor of the now defunct magazine The Weekly Standard. Mr. Kristol has been a “Never Trump” Republican since Mr. Trump was elected in 2016 and has been working hard over the past year to recruit someone to run against him.
Mr. Kristol said Mr. Walsh’s comfort with the in-your-face format of conservative talk radio makes him a potentially more effective combatant against Mr. Trump than someone like William Weld, the genteel former governor of Massachusetts, whose own primary challenge to the president has gained little traction.
“He has a different appeal than Bill Weld,” Mr. Kristol said. “The fact that he was a Tea Party congressman who voted for Trump in 2016 gives him an ability to speak to Republican primary voters that ‘Never Trumpers’ like me don’t have.”
There’s no way that he’s going to beat Trump. Not a chance. Even the NY Times acknowledges that.
I hate to be so cynical, but this is probably nothing more than a ploy to try and hurt Trump in the general. Meaning, that if Walsh can get enough momentum in the primary, he can then run as an independent and split the vote on the right, making it easier for a Democrat to defeat him.
Why else would someone like Walsh run, who doesn’t stand a chance of getting any serious appeal?