Around 50 members of the Indianola and Simpson communities sat in Pioneer Hall in McNeil today to hear Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh speak.
Walsh is one of the three Republican candidates running against current President Donald Trump and the first Republican candidate to visit Simpson College during this presidential election.
“I love small liberal arts schools,” Walsh said. “Republicans gotta go where Republicans typically don’t go. We’re losing young people by the thousands. We need to talk to young people and that’s why I love to speak at colleges.”
Walsh spoke for ten minutes about his disdain for Trump and why he chose to run against him in the election.
“You better have a really good reason to take on a guy like Donald Trump,” Walsh said. “I want to tell you why I’m doing it. When I say Trump’s unfit, here’s what I mean. Almost every time Donald Trump opens his mouth, he tells a lie.”
Walsh spoke openly about all of the reasons he thinks Trump is not the right man for the job and how he is destroying young people and the Republican party.
“That guy, Donald Trump over there, his Republican party is not my Republican party,” Walsh said. “I wanted you and you and you to know, that this is not my Republican party and there are a lot of other Republicans and conservatives that are like me who feel the same way. If I have to fall on my sword and get beat up every day because I’m challenging Donald Trump, I will do it, because I don’t want my Republican party to die.”
Walsh then opened his talk up and took questions from the crowd for the remainder of his time. He spoke about ways that Republicans can gain trust from young people, people of color and women. He also spoke about the importance of climate change, legal immigration and the second amendment.
“It’s every bit as important as the first amendment, I’m a big second amendment guy,” Walsh said. “I believe I have a God-given right wherever I carry a gun to protect myself, my family and my property.”
“When it comes to guns, I think our focus should be on keeping guns out of the hands of people we don’t want to have guns,” Walsh continued. “So when I go across the street and buy a gun tomorrow, I have to go through a federal background check. I just think if I buy a gun online or I buy a gun in a gun show, I should have to go through the same federal background check.”
Many of Walsh’s answers to questions started with the removal of Donald Trump from office. First-year Drake Wood thinks he doesn’t have a shot to do that, but appreciated hearing his perspective.
“I think he has a great idea for which direction the Republican party should move towards, more libertarian, which personally I think is the right way to go if they want to attract younger voters” Wood said. “Will he beat Trump? Not a chance in hell. But, I think he has a valuable opinion, which is needed in the Republican party.”