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Joe Walsh addresses past racist comments, then claims everyone has 'a little bit of racism in us'


'There's no doubt about it...'

Tom Williams/Roll Call

Joe Walsh, the former Republican congressman who recently launched a presidential campaign to challenge President Donald Trump, claimed Monday that he is not racist despite making racist comments in the past.

MSNBC's John Heilemann confronted Walsh about his inflammatory past during an interview Monday, specifically citing when Walsh used the N-word multiples times on social media and when he falsely declared President Barack Obama a Muslim.

"I wouldn't call myself a racist, but I would say, John, I've said racist things on Twitter. There's no doubt about it — and apology is not enough," Walsh said.

Walsh then attempted to offer Heilemann, who called Walsh a "racist," some context.

"I've probably sent out 40,000 tweets in the last six years. No excuse. You and I could sit down and find 200 to 300 that you'd say, 'Walsh, what were you thinking?' And all I can do is own them and explain them and apologize as sincerely as I can for those that deserve an apology," Walsh explained.

Walsh also address his previous use of the N-word, explaining he did it in response to the movement to change the Washington Redskins' team name by activists who claimed "redskins" is a "new N-word."

"The N-word has a unique, ugly history in this country," Walsh told Heilemann. "To make that point, I wrote down the N-word in a tweet, to make a point that that's not nearly what the word 'Redskins' is."

Later, when asked by a Washington Post reporter how he can say "racist things" without being racist, Walsh claimed that all people are "a little bit" racist.

"I think that we all, if we're honest — white, black, and brown — we've all got a little bit of racism in us," Walsh claimed. "There's no doubt that there are times where I've pushed the envelope and when I've said things that could certainly be interpreted as racist."

Walsh also revealed on Monday that he has lost his nationally syndicated radio show since announcing his presidential candidacy.

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