(Madison, WI) Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced Monday afternoon that he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for President. He follows former Texas Governor Rick Perry as the second candidate to drop out of the still large field of 15 major candidates.
Walker said he was disappointed by the debate taking place in the Republican party that is not focused on Ronald Reagan’s optimism, but instead has devolved into personal attacks.
“In the end, I believe that voters want to be for something and not against someone. Instead of talking about how bad things are, we want to hear about how we can make them better for everyone,” Walker stated.
“Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With that in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately,” Walker announced.
He also called other candidates to make a similar decision in order to see a conservative alternative to Donald Trump. “I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and – ultimately – to the future of our country,” Walker added.
Walker saw campaign slip from frontrunner status to earning less than 1% in the latest national poll from CNN following the 2nd Republican presidential debate. His poll numbers slid in August as Donald Trump surged.
Walker who successfully ran three statewide campaigns in four years did not offer the same discipline he showed in previous races. He made numerous mistakes while in the national spotlin, and his debate performances were lackluster.
His exit from the race may provide an opportunity for other candidates like U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). “Scott Walker is a good man who entered the presidential race after winning three grueling campaigns in four years. I know many people are disappointed with Scott’s announcement and I respect what a difficult decision it must have been. He remains one of the best governors in the country and I have no doubt that he’ll continue the fight for conservative principles. Republicans are lucky to have Scott on our team, and I wish the best to him and his family,” Rubio said in a prepared statement.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded in a statement as well. ““Gov. Scott Walker is a good man, a formidable fighter, and an effective reformer. Wisconsin is considerably stronger as a result of the changes he pushed through under incredibly difficult and contentious conditions. In the presidential race, his focus on new, innovative policy ideas made the entire Republican field better. I wish Scott and Tonette all the best in their continued service to Wisconsin and the country,” Cruz said.
Other candidates also responded on Twitter.
Scott Walker is a good man who has a proven record of fighting for conservative reforms. I know he’ll continue to do that as Governor.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 21, 2015
Make no mistake, a strong leader like @ScottWalker has a bright future & is a model for other governors. Good luck, Scott! -John
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) September 21, 2015
.@ScottWalker is a good friend. I campaigned for him multiple times and I wish him all the best.
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) September 21, 2015
I wish @ScottWalker all the best in his future endeavors. I believe Governor Walker will remain a vital voice in the Republican Party.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 21, 2015
Scott is a great governor with much to be proud of. He put his heart & soul into this campaign & I wish him & his family all the best.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 21, 2015
I got to know @ScottWalker well—he’s a very nice person and has a great future.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2015