BOSTON (CBS) - One member of the GOP who supports the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is former congressman Joe Walsh. WBZ-TV's Liam Martin sat down with the Republican who is running against President Trump for his party's 2020 nomination.
Liam Martin: "President Trump, depending on the poll, is 80-90% support among Republican voters. So why are you doing this?"
Joe Walsh: "To win. To beat him. He's unfit, he's bad for the Republican Party, Liam, and he is a danger to the country. You talk about 80-90% support in him. I think that support is soft and what is interesting, Liam, it doesn't measure the number of people who have left the Republican Party."
Martin: "You were a staunch supporter of Donald Trump's when he was a candidate. In 2016 in fact, a few weeks before the election, you tweeted, I'm sure you'll remember this, 'On November 8th, I'm voting for Trump. On November 9th if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket.' So what changed?"
Walsh: "That's still one of my favorite tweets. Look, I didn't love Trump and I didn't like him. He wasn't Hillary. It was a pretty easy vote for me back then."
Martin: "If you could go back, would you vote for Hillary Clinton knowing what you know now?"
Walsh: "If I can go back, I would not have voted for Trump and I will not vote for him again. We've been asked that question, myself and other candidates in this primary, are you going to vote for Trump in 2020, if he is the nominee? Hell no. I'm running because I think he is unfit so I couldn't support him."
Martin: "What changed, from that tweet in October of 2016 to where we are now?"
Walsh: "I realized pretty quickly after he got elected, that virtually every time he opens his mouth he tells a lie. I mean almost every single time. I don't care what your politics are. I can't support a president that lies as much as this one does. The final straw was Helsinki last summer when Donald Trump stood in front of the world and said, I'm with Putin and not my own intelligence community. That was the final straw because he's incapable of putting the country's interests ahead of his own."
Martin: "You have criticized President Trump in the past in addition to what you say are dishonest remarks from him for making some racist comments and you have your own past of some concerning comments, you did say he (Obama) only got elected president because he was black and you made some references to potentially he might be Muslim. How do you respond when people say, you don't have moral ground to question President Trump's comments?"
Walsh: "I think it's because I come from what got Trump elected. Liam, the same people that voted for Trump voted for me. Sent me to Congress in 2010. The same people that voted for Trump have listened to me on the radio for these past five or six years."
Martin: "You were part of the Tea Party Movement."
Walsh: "Absolutely and we went to Washington in 2010 to raise hell about all of this government debt and Liam what is interesting is I helped create Trump. Part of the Tea Party rhetoric, part of some of the angry rhetoric that conservatives like me have put out there the last five or six years, sometimes it went over the edge."
Martin: "Do you regret that? Do you apologize?"
Walsh: "Oh God yeah, I've spent a good amount of this last month, since I've announced, apologizing for some of the things I've said."
Martin: "Let's talk about the Ukraine scandal. Do you think President Trump should be impeached for asking Ukraine and China, on China they say potentially he was kidding, to investigate Joe Biden and his son. Should he be impeached for that?"
Walsh: "Hell yes. Again, think about how far we've come, I thought he should have been impeached after I read the Mueller report last April, he obstructed justice, period. But you have got the President of the United States, who pressured foreign governments to interfere with our election."
Martin: "He says he was just trying to fight corruption."
Walsh: "When has this president ever given a damn about corruption? Come on, we've got his own words Liam. I mean on the front lawn of the White House last week, China and Ukraine should both investigate the Bidens. It's right there, that's impeachable."
Martin: "Shouldn't we let the voters decide? They are going to decide in a year anyway. Should we impeach him when we are right on the precipice of letting the voters make that choice?"
Walsh: "You don't contemplate the politics of impeachment, you do what's right and if we have a president, and we do, who has abused the powers of his office, who has used his office for his own personal gain, that's a betrayal. That's a big deal."
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