Joe Walsh blames outburst on 'too much coffee'
November 9, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh delivered some heated comments to his constituents at a recent town hall meeting this past weekend. The incident was captured on video and released on the Internet.
Walsh defends his comments but admits he went a little too far.
For a politician who describes himself as passionate, watching himself lose his cool on YouTube proved to be too much, even for Walsh.
"Enough!" he said while watching the clip with ABC7.
The freshman Republican, who represents the northwest suburbs, was well aware he was being videotaped during his weekly "Cup of joe with Joe" constituent meeting at a Gurnee restaurant last weekend. In the middle of what was a calm discussion about the economy, Walsh started screaming.
"Dont blame banks and don't blame the marketplace for the mess we are. I'm tired of hearing that crap," said Walsh.
Then he turned to Melissa Rakestraw, a constituent from Schaumburg.
"I said, 'please don't yell at me because I'm not yelling at you. And that's when he said...," Rakestraw said.
"That pisses me off," Walsh told her.
Rakestraw says she started laughing because she found Walsh's behavior so bizarre. Walsh admits he crossed the line.
"Did I go overboard? Yeah. Empty stomach and too much coffee," said Walsh.
While Rakestraw suggested on the video tape that Joe take it easy on the joe, she was more disturbed about a conversation she had with Walsh at the end of the meeting. With his back to the camera, Rakestraw asked the congressman if he plans to support a bill that will help the post office save jobs. Rakestraw is a letter carrier.
"He said, and I am quoting him verbatim, 'I don't care about the loss of public sector jobs,'" said Rakestraw.
"When we talk about creating jobs in this country...we are not talking about government jobs, we are talking about private sector jobs. That was the point I was trying to get across," Walsh said.
While Walsh apologized to Rakestraw, he is not making any apologies for his passionate political views.
Rakestraw admits she did not vote for Walsh. She says she is an independent. Her only reason for going to the meeting was to hear Walsh's views on a legislation that may affect her job.
politics, sarah schulte
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