By Jonathan Easley - 01/24/12 08:45 PM EST
Republican Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.) ripped into President Obama ahead of Tuesday night's State of the Union address, saying the president isn’t “relevant anymore.”
“This is going to be a campaign speech, pure and simple,” Walsh said Tuesday on MSNBC. “I’ll listen but I know my Speaker over the weekend called it ‘pathetic’ if he’s just going to recycle all of his old ideas. That’s not the words I’d use — the word I would use is 'irrelevant.' I just don’t think he’s relevant anymore.”
Walsh did not attend Obama's September 2011 speech to Congress on jobs, saying he didn’t want to be a prop for the president. Walsh said he would be attending Tuesday’s address though.
He predicted, however, that it would be an unproductive year in Congress as both parties await the 2012 election to see who receives a mandate from voters.
“I do agree with the president on one thing,” Walsh continued. “There’s not a lot that’s going to get done this next year. He and us Republicans, we have a dramatically different vision of what needs to be done to this country, and I say bring on the election.”
Walsh, who was elected into office on the strength of the Tea Party movement, defended his record of opposing the president, arguing that he wasn’t merely trying to be an obstructionist.
“If you believe, if you genuinely believe that each and every one of his policies is destroying this country, then it’s your job to try and stop what he’s doing,” he said. “Now I would love it if he would adopt the opposite route and try to undo a lot of the damage he’s done, but I don’t expect him to do this.”