On Monday night, GOP presidential candidate and conservative radio host Joe Walsh continued his media apology tour when he sat down with CNN's John Berman to respond to racist tweets from his past. The former Tea Party congressman from Illinois officially announced his run for president Sunday on ABC's This Week. He then spent most of Monday responding to his history of controversial tweets.
Berman opened the interview by reading a few of Walsh's racially charged posts, two of which he directed at President Obama. And while Berman noted Walsh's apologies for his remarks, the CNN host wondered why people should look beyond his rhetoric and not Trumps.
"In the last six years, I've tweeted 40,000 times. There are probably a few hundred tweets that you and I would scratch our heads about. I don't apologize for every tweet. When it's warranted, I will," answered Walsh. Walsh continued to defend his controversial tweets to Berman by explaining that he was a "big free speech supporter" and that he "abhors political correctness."
I have a right to pray to whatever God I want to pray to.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) February 27, 2018
I have a right to call Obama a Muslim and call Trump a thin-skinned ego maniac.
I have a right to use an AR-15 to defend my family and my home.
That's America. Get off my lawn.
To say that it's "racist" to call Haiti a shithole is like saying it's "racist" to say Chicago has a violence problem.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) January 12, 2018
Haiti is a shithole and it's run by blacks. The violence in Chicago is all black on black.
Those aren't racist statements. They're just facts.
Berman pressed Walsh on comments that he made to MSNBC earlier in the day in which he denied being a racist, despite saying racist things on Twitter. Walsh responded, "I think we're all a little bit racist. We've all said racist things. I'll bet if you and I went through everybody's Twitter feed, we're going to find things that are objectionable and offensive. I think we all have"
The former Illinois congressman claimed he didn't necessarily mean the things he was tweeting. He was simply making the point that in America, you should have the right to say anything. "Yeah, I've tweeted some racist things. On purpose? No," admitted Walsh.
Berman then asked the conservative talk-radio host how his listeners responded to him challenging Trump in the 2020 republican primary. Walsh revealed his show was just canceled before the interview. "80 to 90% of my audience supports the president. I just found out I lost my national radio show, so that's gone," announced Walsh.
On the subject of political policy, Berman asked Walsh why he didn't have any policy positions on his campaign website. "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."
AC360 airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on CNN.
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