Who Are Trump’s Republican Challengers?


“The lights are on
in the White House, but no one’s at home.” “This guy is destroying
the country.” “Put the Twitter away.” President Trump is facing
Republican challengers to his re-election campaign. Joe Walsh, Bill Weld
and Mark Sanford. They don’t have much
of a chance at securing their party’s nomination, but primary challenges
can lead to problems for the incumbent. So who’s trying
to take Trump on? First up: Joe Walsh. “These are not
conventional times. These are urgent times. Let’s be real: These are scary times.” A one-term
Tea Party congressman who represented a Chicago
suburb from 2011 to 2013. “Pisses me off!” His style? It’s aggressive. Even with his
constituents. “Quiet for a minute! Or I’m going to
ask you to leave.” He is also known for
his offensive tweets. “I wouldn’t call
myself a racist, but I would say, John,
I’ve said racist things on Twitter.” He’s shared his
far-right views on his nationally
syndicated radio show. “When he was elected
to Congress, he showed up in Washington
and refused to play by their rules.” In a recent program, he slammed President Trump
for his handling of immigration. “Donald Trump has royally
screwed this thing up.” His show is going off
the air due to FCC rules on airtime rights for
presidential candidates. So why is he running? “All Trump cares
about is himself.” “He’s a horrible human being.” “He’s nuts, he’s erratic, he’s incompetent!” Critics have said the
same about him. Next: Bill Weld. He was the first
to announce his run against President Trump. “I would be
ashamed of myself if I didn’t raise
my hand and run.” Weld is a lawyer and former
Justice Department official. He was the governor of
Massachusetts during the ’90s, and has switched party
loyalties a few times, endorsing Barack Obama
for president in 2008 over John McCain,
and then supporting Mitt Romney in 2012. He ran as a libertarian
vice presidential candidate in 2016. “I hope to see the Republican
Party assume once again the mantle of being
the party of Lincoln.” Weld is a
fiscal conservative, but socially liberal. He supports abortion rights,
same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana. He’s been campaigning in
New Hampshire and Iowa, hoping to best Trump in
those early primary contests. “I think we’re in something
of an inflection point.” And the former
governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, is also running. “We need a change in
spending, debt and deficits, and we need it now.” He’s a vocal critic
of President Trump, and served a total
of six terms in the House of
Representatives. Ultimately, he lost his seat
after a primary challenge by a Trump-backed candidate. His second term as South Carolina
governor was stained by a scandal involving
an extramarital affair. Trump referenced this scandal
in a tweet mocking all three Republican candidates
running against him. So what are their
chances at winning? Not good. As of now, Trump’s
approval rating is very high
among Republicans. However, primary challengers
in recent decades have shown that they can leave the incumbent wounded
in the general election.