Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh ended his longshot presidential bid Friday after only receiving a mere 348 votes in the Iowa Republican caucuses Monday.
“So you’re going to try to help elect the Democratic nominee, is that what you’re saying?” CNN’s Josh Berman asked Walsh.
“Any Democrat,” Walsh said without hesitation. “John, Donald Trump is a dictator. He’s a king… Any Democrat would be better than Trump in the White House.”
JUST NOW: " I would rather have a socialist in the White House than a dictator."
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) February 7, 2020
Walsh didn’t say which candidate he would be most likely to support this fall, but argued many former Republicans would likely follow Walsh to support the Democratic candidate even if it were self-identifying socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“Would you support Bernie Sanders?” Berman asked. “You’re a former Tea Party Republican and you’re saying to me you would support Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren?”
“I would rather have, John Berman, a socialist in the White House than a dictator, than a king, than Donald Trump,” Walsh reaffirmed.
Walsh, a former one-term congressman, launched a primary challenge against Trump in August. One month later, Walsh called his own party a “cult” while seeking its presidential nomination.
“I’ve given up on the Republican Party. The Republican Party is a cult,” Walsh said on CNN. “They no longer stand for ideals. The Republican Party right now is all about washing their leaders’ feet every day, that’s what they do.”
Walsh lost his seat in the House by 10 percent to Democrat Tammy Duckworth in 2012 who is now a U.S. senator. After leaving Congress, Walsh worked as a conservative radio host.
Two other Republican candidates mounted primary challenges against Trump this cycle including former moderate Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, who ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 2016 and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford who dropped out in November.
A new Gallup poll out this week shows Trump with the highest approval rating of his presidency at 49 percent and a 94 percent approval rating among Republicans.