Joe Walsh, the former congressman who's challenging President Trump in the Republican Party's presidential primary, said in a Monday night CNN interview that he lost his popular radio show and had just received notice before arriving to the studio for the sit-down. Walsh told CNN's John Berman that he expected the move because nearly "80 to 90%" of his audience supports the president.
"I am running for president. I oppose this president. Most of my listeners support the president," said Walsh. "It's not an easy thing to do to be in conservative talk radio and oppose this president."
The conservative had broadcast his show through Salem Radio Network. He also has a podcast connected to "AM560 The Answer" in Chicago. Salem told CBS in a statement on Tuesday that affiliates can continue to receive Walsh's program from a different syndicator "to be selected by Joe Walsh" after 30 days.
"This announcement does not affect Joe Walsh's local program airing on AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, however Walsh's program will have to be removed as soon as he becomes a viable and legal candidate for President," Salem added.
While he argued that that the 2020 race isn't about "the issues," Walsh contended that he's running to the right of Mr. Trump and believes in strong immigration policies. Walsh said he does not agree with Mr. Trump's tax cut and would have given a greater tax cut to the middle class. When asked about the lack of policy plans on his campaign website, Walsh focused on the president.
"I'm running against Trump because he's morally unfit. Period. It's about Trump. It's not about the issues. It's about Trump," Walsh said. "But on the issues, I believe in a wall. Trump hasn't built a wall. I believe in border security. Trump has botched the border. The border's a bigger mess now than it was when he got elected."
Walsh announced his candidacy for president during an interview on ABC's "This Week'" on Sunday. Also in the race against Mr. Trump is Bill Weld, a former Massachusetts governor.
Walsh won a House seat from suburban Chicago in the 2010 tea party wave but lost reelection in 2012 and has since hosted his talk show.
Walsh attempted to distance himself from past incendiary comments and make the case that he's not Mr. Trump. Walsh instead said some of his past controversial statements were made because he believes in free speech and "abhors" political correctness.
He admitted to saying racist comments and added: "I think we're all a little bit racist. We've all said racist things. I bet if you and I went through everybody's Twitter feeds, we're going to find things that are objectionable and offensive."
Walsh said that with the lack of a radio show, he now intends to campaign "full time" against Mr. Trump.