Former Rep. Joe Walsh, who is mounting a long-shot primary bid against President Trump, on Monday called the Republican Party a “cult” and decried recent moves from some state parties to eliminate or curtail their presidential nominating contests next year.

“This isn’t Russia. I do not live in Russia. I refuse to live in Russia,” Mr. Walsh said on CNN’s “New Day.” “We can’t just cancel elections in this country.”

Mr. Trump continues to enjoy overwhelming support among Republicans, but Mr. Walsh claimed that the support is “soft” and that people want an alternative.

“Look, I’ve given up on the Republican Party. The Republican Party is a cult, right? They no longer stand for ideas,” he said. “The Republican Party right now is all about washing their leader’s feet every day — that’s what they do.”

“We’re going to take our campaign directly to Republican voters, and I’ll add: in all 50 states. We’re going to campaign in all 50 states,” he said.

Republican parties in states such as South Carolina, Nevada, Kansas and Arizona have recently moved to cancel or curtail their 2020 nominating contests with Mr. Trump up for reelection.

Both parties have done similar things in the past when they have an incumbent president running for reelection, under the rationale that the money saved on a primary that the incumbent is overwhelmingly likely to win anyway could be better spent elsewhere.

Mr. Walsh, along with fellow GOP primary challengers former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Rep. Mark Sanford, wrote a piece for The Washington Post last week decrying the moves from the state parties.

The president has labeled the candidates the “Three Stooges.”

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