USA Today: GOP presidential hopeful Joe Walsh: If John McCain were alive, 'he'd be slapping Lindsey Graham upside the head'

This article by Savannah Behrmann appeared in USA Today on 10/24/2019.

Joe Walsh, a former GOP congressman from Illinois who is challenging President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, said that if late Sen. John McCain were still alive, "he'd be slapping Lindsey Graham upside the head." 

Speaking at the CITIZEN by CNN conference in New York, Walsh was joined by fellow GOP primary contenders, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

"Shame on Lindsey Graham," Walsh said, "There are so many Republicans in the House and the Senate who have sold their soul to this president. Lindsey is just one of them."

Walsh, who, notably, was backed by the Tea Party during his run for congressional office, used to be a Trump supporter but has since turned critical of the president, including his fiscal decision-making and racial rhetoric. He has called for his impeachment.

Earlier today, Graham introduced a resolution to condemn how House Democrats have been conducting their impeachment investigation of Trump.

The inquiry is investigating whether the president pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter, while the U.S. withheld military aid to the country.

Of the roughly three dozen Republican lawmakers who protested and temporarily halted the testimony of Defense Department official Laura Cooper on Wednesday, Walsh tweeted: "What you do when you can’t defend a President who’s betrayed his country."

McCain died in 2018 from brain cancer at the age of 81. He was one of the Hill Republicans who was critical of Trump, often feuding with him.

Trump did not attend McCain's funeral at the family's request.

The three men challenging Trump also responded to being called "human scum" by the president as he reserved the harsh term for "Never Trumper Republicans."

"He's destroying political norms that have been part of the fabric of what has held our country together for more than 200 years," Sanford said. "It comes at great peril, great danger, but it's important that we not dance his dance."