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hardball
updated 4/6/2013 10:46:21 AM ET 2013-04-06T14:46:21

Checking in with some Republican members of Congress who did not return for the 113th session. Joe Walsh reflects on his election loss, Jim DeMint echoes Mitt Romney's 47% comments, and Allen West ventures to Los Angeles as part of a new web series.

Time for a round of “Where are they now?” featuring some Republican members of Congress who did not return for the 113th session.

There’s former Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, who lost his bid for reelection to Democrat Tammy Duckworth. Walsh served only one term, but still managed to rack up his share of headlines. There was his over-caffeinated reaction to a group of voters at a local restaurant. Or his remarks about Tammy Duckworth’s decision to talk about her military service during her Congressional campaign. Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran who lost both her legs in a 2004 helicopter crash in Iraq.

“I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about,” Walsh explained at a town hall meeting in July.

Five months have passed since the 2012 election, and Walsh is still reflecting on what went wrong in his bid for reelection.

“I traveled the entire district, and I said, ‘my name is Joe Walsh. If you vote for me, I’m not giving you a darn thing,” he said to a group of Illinois residents on Tuesday. Walsh seemed to be entering “47% territory”–suggesting that his opponent and other politicians won by essentially bribing voters with government handouts.

Walsh is not alone this week in suggesting that too many Americans are dependent on the government. On his first day as president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint issued a letter to staffers that read in part:

“Today, more people than ever before–69.5 million Americans, from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries–depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other civil society institutions.”

Then there’s former Congressman Allan West. You’ll remember him as the Florida Republican who suggested that roughly 80 House Democrats were members of the Communist Party. In January, West launched a new conservative web series entitled Next Generation. The series is subscription-only, but for those who are satisfied with just a glimpse, an introduction video features the former Congressman recounting his first impressions of Los Angeles, where he traveled as part of the gig. “I had someone ask me if I wanted to go to a real nice sushi restaurant, but I had to tell them that I don’t eat bait,” West recalled.

Take a look at the Hardball Sideshow for the full round-up.

Video: Sideshow: Return of the ex-congressmen

  1. Closed captioning of: Sideshow: Return of the ex-congressmen

    >>> ha! back to "hardball." now to the sideshow. first a little round of where are they now? remember joe walsh ? he's the former illinois u.s. congressman who lost his bid for re-election to democrat tammy duckworth last year. walsh resurfaced at a town hall this week blaming his 2012 election loss on, you guessed it, democrats who promise people free stuff.

    >> maybe this is why i lost. i traveled the entire district and i said, my name's joe walsh , if you vote for me, i'm not giving you a darn thing. my opponent walked around saying, i'll give you this, by way, you need a new shirt. i'll give you a new watch. i'll take care of you. i'll pay for your haircut tomorrow. this is how our politicians get paid. will we ever have a majority of this country that will vote for me when i say, i'm joe walswalsh, if you vote for me, i won't give you a darn thing. i'm trying to cut what washington takes from you so that you can keep more of what's yours, now go live your life and be happy.

    >> that goes to the 47%. takers and makers stuff from last election. of course. he's got company. former south carolina senator jim demint kicked off his first day as president of the conservative heritage foundation with a letter to the staff saying, "more people than ever before, 69.5 million americans from college students to retir tireries to welfare ben fisheries defend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid or other assistance. the united states must reverse the direction of these trends or face economic or social collapse."

    >>> to former congressman allen west . you remember him as the florida republican who said that 78 to 81, very specific, house democrats are members of the communist party . anyway, west traveled to l.a. as part of his web series recently and had a tough time adjusting.

    >> i have to correct a nice young lady at a nearby lunch stop who wanted to put sprouts on my turkey and swiss sandwich? i had someone ask me if i want to go to a real nice sushi restaurant, but i had to tell them that i don't eat bait. needless to say, it has, indeed, been interesting being out here in l.a.

    >> well, there you have it. both allen west and joe walsh have said another run for office is not off the table. hmm.

    >>> next, the latest republican spin on voting restrictions. this time it's about college students from north carolina who register to vote at their college address. if it's up to some republican lawmakers in the state, that decision could cost their parents. according to a new bill, "if the voter is a dependent of the voters' parent or legal guardian is 18 years of age or older and the voter has registered at an address other than that of the parent or legal guardian , the parent or legal guardian will not be allowed to claim the voter as dependent for state income tax purposes." north carolina does not want young people voting democrat in their state. this bill parents pay more in taxes if their child votes near campus.

    >>> finally, a slip of the tongue from first lady michelle obama .

    >> believe me, as a busy single mother , or i shouldn't say single, as a busy mother, sometimes when you've got husband who's president, it can feel single, but he's there.

    >> president obama was on his second day of a fund-raising swing. he was in california yesterday while michelle obama remained here in d.c.

    >>> up next, hillary's talking and everyone's guessing. will she or won't she? are you kidding? i think she's running. you're watching "hardball." the place for

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