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Former GOP Rep. Jim Walsh endorses Biden: ‘We need a president who is less self-centered’

Ellen Abbott
WRVO Public Media File Photo
Jim Walsh (right) in 2017.

Former central New York Republican Rep. Jim Walsh is among a list of more than two dozen former Republican members of Congress who are endorsing Democrat Joe Biden for president. Walsh represented the Syracuse area in Congress for two decades.

He did not vote for Donald Trump. In 2016, he supported former Ohio Governor John Kasich for president. But when Trump won, he gave him a chance. He said the president has disappointed him on almost every level.

“He doesn’t seem to have respect for anyone who doesn’t agree with him,” Walsh said. “I’ve seen him belittle some great people, including Senator John McCain, who is an American hero.”

Walsh said Trump has done a terrible job managing the pandemic. The economy, he said, is in terrible shape.

“He has publicly disrespected our generals, the FBI, our intelligence system,” Walsh said.

Biden, on the other hand, is a moderate Democrat, Walsh said, and strong on national defense.

“He’s a thoughtful person; he’s a good person,” Walsh said. “He makes good decisions. He respects other people whether they agree with him or not. I think that’s a very valuable and important attribute.”

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), the current Republican congressman representing Syracuse, has said he would support President Trump’s reelection. Walsh said he has great respect for Katko, but they don’t agree on that issue.

“This pandemic has been totally mismanaged and mishandled and a huge expense to our country, to our health, to our national economy,” Walsh said. “I think we need a president who is less self-centered and more centered on the good of the country. I think Joe Biden is that person.”

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.