Joe Walsh: 'I'd rather have a socialist in the White House than a con man'

Former presidential candidate Joe WalshJoe WalshThe Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out The Memo: 'Hillbilly Elegy' author binds himself to Trump after past criticism Joe Walsh says radio show canceled due to Trump criticism MORE criticized fellow Republicans who labeled themselves as “never Trump” for considering a vote for President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE if Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden faces Ukraine decision amid Russia aggression The Hill's Morning Report - US warns Kremlin, weighs more troops to Europe MORE (I-Vt.) is the Democratic 2020 nominee. 

Walsh, a former Illinois congressman, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Tuesday that he’d “rather have a socialist in the White House than a con man.”

He went on to chide his fellow "never Trump" party members for what he sees as their wavering stances. 


"Some of my Republican and ex-Republican brethren have started implying that what never-Trump actually meant was something more like: fingers-crossed-I-really-really-hope-not-Trump-but-I-guess-sometimes-Trump if Democrats wind up nominating a self-described democratic socialist," he wrote. "But that’s not how this works."

But Walsh, who attempted to take on Trump in the Republican primary, said he sympathizes with those who do not want Sanders to be in the White House, with a personal caveat. 

“If it were up to me, Sanders isn’t the guy I’d put in charge,” he wrote. “But when I finally came around to saying, ‘never Trump,’ I meant it.”

Walsh, however, said those who designated themselves as “never Trump” should “suck it up and support his Democratic opponent, no matter who that is,” promising to campaign for Sanders if he is the nominee. 

“Lots of politicians stink, and people hold their noses and vote for them, anyway,” he wrote. “But if you’ve already gone on record as a never-Trumper, and now you’re saying that you’ll vote for Trump because you don’t like the alternative, you’re not holding your nose, you’re inhaling deeply.”


The former congressman dropped out of the presidential race against Trump earlier this month after receiving only 1 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses. 

Concerns surrounding Sanders, who is a self-described democratic socialist, have surfaced in recent weeks as the Vermont progressive has become the front-runner in the race to win Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders currently has 45 delegates after winning Nevada and New Hampshire and coming in second in Iowa by an extremely thin margin.

Lawmakers on both sides took issue with Sanders’s comments regarding the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro when he said on “60 Minutes” that “it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad” about Castro.