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Walsh: Sun-Times Story a "Hit Piece"

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 29, 2011 1:15PM

8th District Rep. Joe Walsh responded to yesterday's Sun-Times story that he owes his ex-wife over $100,000 in child support by channeling his inner Axl Rose and saying the Bright One was out ta get him.

Walsh tried to spin the story to multiple media outlets as as further proof that he understood what many across the country are going through. Walsh told CNN's Kyra Phillips:

”I ran as a guy who lost his home and had had financial struggles like a lot of Americans. Absolutely not. This is where a lot of Americans come from right now. It’s why they sent so many of us to Washington to do something about this because we’re living this experience.”

Except that most other Americans don't ask their ex-spouses for leniency on child support payments, then loan their congressional campaigns $35,000. Or go on vacations out of the country while pulling lint out of their pockets. That's the contradiction Walsh is now facing and it stands out like garishly painted lips, given his hawkish stance on the debt ceiling debate.

Walsh later released a statement that read:

“We are 72 hours away from one of the biggest decisions our country has to make about its financial future. I understand why this is a story and why the media has to ask me about it. I understood as a candidate, and I understand as a sitting member of Congress that the scrutiny of my personal life will be intense. This is a tough business. It’s also not lost on me that not everyone agrees with me politically, I am the tip of the spear in this current debate, and I will be attacked. ...

“These latest attacks against me are false and I will fight them in the appropriate venue. And as your Congressman I promise you that I am going to put my head down, get back to work and continue to fight for our freedoms and our children’s future. I’m not going to let some hit piece in the media deter me from that.”

While Walsh said the child support claims made by his ex-wife are false, Salon's Alex Pareene pointed out another nice item from the Sun-Times piece that is getting looked over in favor of the big numbers - Walsh already has child support payments docked from his congressional pay, just not for the disputed amount.

And is it too early to look at Walsh's political future? Thanks to state Democratic gerrymandering his district is now heavily Democratic and one of his challengers, Tammy Duckworth, is already firing shots across Walsh's bow about what a camera hog he is. Walsh was also drawn out of his own district and, if he wishes to remain in Congress but doesn't want to get into a general election campaign with a sympathetic war hero in Duckworth, could move over to the new 14th District and cannibalize fellow Republican Randy Hultgren in what could be an easy primary battle, given Hultgren's inability to raise campaign funds.