Tea Party freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) went on the attack Friday morning in reaction to a lawsuit from his ex-wife seeking more than $100,000 in child support for herself and their three children.
Walsh also compared his financial problems to the debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
In an appearance on the Fox & Friends, Walsh said although he’s against any increase in the national debt limit, he might support a deal as long as it included massive spending cuts and a tax break for deadbeat dads like himself with six figure incomes.
“I’m only making $175,000 per year as a Congressman. Do you know how hard it is for a Republican to live on only $175,000?” Walsh said. “Think of the burden I’m placing on my kids by not supporting them. Should I hurt them even more by adding to the national debt without personally gaining from it?”
News of the lawsuit was first reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, which indicated that at the same time Walsh was pleading poverty in not making his child support payments, he managed to loan his campaign fund $35,000 and vacationed in Mexico and Italy.
Walsh blamed his financial problems on President Barack Obama. Walsh has been a harsh critic of the president, accusing him of lying about the national debt and of bankrupting the nation. Walsh noted that he had a condo in Evanston foreclosed on in 2008 which he said was also the fault of Obama, who was then a U.S. Senator from Illinois.
“Everything bad that happens is Obama’s fault—everything. When he took office the debt was $10 trillion. It’s now at $14 trillion. That means the entire debt is his fault, every last cent,” Walsh said. “If you look at the child support payments that I haven’t paid, much of that was under the tenure of George W. Bush, which means they’re also Obama’s fault.”
Walsh referred to the Sun-Times story as “hit piece” and criticized the paper for reporting a story using facts and legal documents that are hard to refute. He said the story would not keep him from talking about fiscal issues.
“Look, the fact that I don’t pay my bills makes me perfectly suited to make fiscal responsibility an issue. If you want to find out about alcoholism who would you talk to, a teetoataler or a drunken sailor?” Walsh said. “Yes, I accused the president of spending like a drunken sailor, but believe me I know what I’m talking about. If I’ve stepped out of line in talking about this issue, well that’s Obama’s fault as well.”