WASHINGTON — House Republican Joe Walsh of Illinois is thumbing his nose at President Obama’s speech on jobs before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 8 — by skipping it.

Walsh, a tea party-backed freshman from McHenry, issued a statement today saying he’ll be in Illinois on the night of the speech to host a small-business forum. A Walsh aide said he expected details of the forum to be known Friday morning.

Talking about avoiding Obama’s address, Walsh said in his statement: “I don’t see the point of being a prop for another of the president’s speeches asking for more failed stimulus spending and more subsidies for his pet projects.”

He added: “The president needs to stop the speeches, get out of his office and away from all the White House academics and start talking to real people out there. They’re the ones who are going to create the jobs, not White House paper-pushers and bureaucrats.”