Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) has been a wonderful leader of the great state of Wisconsin, turning a failing economy and a burgeoning fiscal problem into a growing economy and reversed the crippling budget concerns. When he entered the Presidential race it surprised no one, and it pleased the vast majority of GOP voters… so what's happened since then? After an early summer full of promise, Governor Walker simply faded into the background over the last month of the campaign, faltering so badly that in the latest CNN poll he was only able to draw about ½ of 1%, putting him near the bottom of the GOP field.
This latest poll must have been a crushing blow for the Walker campaign because on Monday the successful conservative Governor from the battleground state of Wisconsin bowed out of the race.
"Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field," Walker said in a brief speech in Madison, Wisconsin, on Monday evening. "With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately."
Walker said that because the field is so crowded, candidates have become focused on "personal attacks" instead of the substantial issues that matter most to voters. He said Republicans have lost that "optimistic view of America" pushed by President Ronald Reagan, Walker's political idol. He urged those still running to "get back to the basics" with a focus on creating jobs, reducing the size of government and strengthening the military.
"To refocus the debate on these types of issues will require leadership," Walker said. "I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country."
Governor Walker's message in his suspending his candidacy was right on. Thus far the campaign has been a soap opera and not the principled conservative debate that GOP voters should be demanding. That a strong, successful conservative like Scott Walker would be doing so poorly in a field filled with establishment moderates, RINO's, and debutantes speaks very poorly about the average GOP voter. Moreover, seeing Rick Perry and Scott Walker as the first two candidates to bow out of the race also portends worrisome things for our party's future.
While neither of these men is perfect, both are most certainly far better candidates than at least half of their fellow competitors.
Governor Walker's exit should be marked sadly, but I share his hope that as the field winnows the topics of discussion in the debates and in the media will focus in on more important core political issues.
Senator Ted Cruz bid Governor Walker a fond farewell today, thanking him for his service to our country and for his excellent defense of conservatism.
"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."
Jeb Bush echoed Cruz's sentiments:
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
Bobby Jindal added his own well wishes:
.@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
Donald Trump thinks Walker has a bright future ahead of him:
I got to know @ScottWalker well—he’s a very nice person and has a great future.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2015
Senator Marco also Rubio praised Walker for his tireless work ethic and the great work he's done in Wisconsin.
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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.