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Walker Quits GOP Race, Urges Other Candidates: Stop Trump

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Walker Quits GOP Race, Urges Other Candidates: Stop Trump


In a brief, blunt statement delivered at a press conference in Madison, Wisconsin, Scott Walker suspended his campaign for president.

Walker bemoaned the current state of the Republican race, said that the GOP needed to “get back to the basics of our party,” and in an odd move, encouraged the candidates still running to drop out in order to refocus their energies on presenting voters with a “positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner,” Donald Trump, whom he did not name.

He said he believed he heeded a call to be a leader, paradoxically, by opting to “clear the field” because refocussing “the debate will require leadership.”

He added: “This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and — ultimately — to the future of our country.”

The Badger State governor repeated his familiar talking points primarily by invoking the holy trinity of God, private enterprise, and Ronald Reagan. In his prepared remarks, Walker said:

As a kid, I was drawn to Ronald Reagan because he was a Republican and a conservative. But most of all, I admired him because of his eternal optimism in the American people.

That thought came into my head when we were all standing at the Reagan Library last Wednesday. President Reagan was good for America because he was an optimist.

Sadly, the debate taking place in the Republican party today is not focused on that optimistic view of America. Instead, it has drifted 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’s trajectory from frontrunner to one of the earliest dropouts illustrates how unpredictable the race has become, and how much the flamboyant, unhinged Trump has disrupted the tidal forces of political gravity.

According to Reuters:

When he officially announced his campaign in early July, he was among the leaders for the Republican nomination. But the 47-year-old governor quickly struggled on the campaign trail despite a strong conservative record and a warm personal story as a Harley motorcycle aficionado.

Walker’s lack of experience on the national stage was apparent. He gave shifting answers to questions about illegal immigration and once suggested a wall between the United States and close ally Canada might be in order, in an apparent effort to double down on rivals’ calls for a wall on the Mexican border.

He did not do much to reassure supporters with lackluster performances in the first two Republican presidential debates.

Walker’s struggle for traction, combined with the rise of New York billionaire Donald Trump, took its toll. A CNN/ORC poll released on Sunday gave him less than 1 percent support among Republican voters. In a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll of the Republican field, he received 3 percent of support.

In an initial sign of trouble, Walker last week canceled events in California and Michigan to concentrate on Iowa, the key early voting state that shares a border with Wisconsin.

In recent days, he had vowed to focus solely on Iowa.

Walker is the second Republican to drop out of the race, after former Texas governor Rick Perry suspended his campaign on September 11. In his parting remarks, Perry also lamented the dark turn the race has taken thanks to Trump’s incendiary tactics and rhetoric.

Walker concluded his remarks by thanking God “for His abundant grace. Win or lose, it is more than enough for any of us.”

File photo: Scott Walker bows his head in prayer at a campaign stop in Haverhill, Iowa, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young

Sam Reisman

Sam Reisman is the former managing editor at The National Memo, where he still writes the weekly "This Week In Crazy" column. His writing has appeared in Flavorpill, The Huffington Post, Columbia Daily Spectator, and Bwog. He was the publisher of the 2010 edition of Inside New York, an annual guidebook to the city for students and young professionals.

Since 2011, he has co-curated and hosted Peculiar Streams, a showcase for NYC-based writers, musicians, comedians, and filmmakers. He is a staff writer at Mediaite, and blogs at SamReisman.com.

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  1. Paragryne September 21, 2015

    The Boy Scouts and taking on the Unions didn’t prepare him as much as he thought.

  2. Dominick Vila September 21, 2015

    With his poll numbers below 1%, “suspending” his campaign was inevitable. Jindal, Graham, Santorum, Pataki, Huckabee, Cruz, and a couple of others should do the same. Dr. Carson committed political suicide with his comment about Muslims, and his obvious lack of familiarity with the Constitution of the Unbited states. The main beneficiaries of a smaller field of candidates will be Bush, Fiorina, and Rubio. The biggest loser will be Trump. I don’t think Marco has a chance. He would make a good Secretary of State in a GOP administration. I expect Bush and Fiorina to slug it out in their quest to win the GOP establishment vote.

    1. TZToronto September 21, 2015

      I’d be very surprised if the Tea Party allows a woman to be the GOP candidate. It would be like saying, “Our woman is better than your woman,” but the GOP doesn’t think any woman is better than any man. Women, for the far right, exist to get pregnant, to cook dinner, and to do as they are told–not to lead a country. Now, on the rational side, Fiorina did actually talk in specifics (well, generalized specific), which resembles an intellectual expression. But again, the far right wants to hear what they believe, not what some woman wants to say. Fiorina would be probably the best candidate, along with Kasich, but I don’t see it happening.

      1. Dominick Vila September 22, 2015

        The most qualified candidates running for the GOP nomination are Kasich and Rubio, but neither has a chance to be their nominee. Largely because of their qualifications, and their willingness to compromise or find middle ground with Democrats and Independents. The GOP establishment knows it has a huge short and long term problem if Trump is their nominee, and they also know that after driving African American, legal Hispanics-Latinos, women, and many college educated students away they need something or someone to mitigate the effects of their radicalism. One of the few options left for them is Carly, who may be able to taken women votes away from Hillary, our presumptive nominee. Fiorina is running on her business record, which is pathetic, and got a boost acting civil during the second debate, which in the scheme of things is irrelevant since every civilized person is expected to be civil, but since she, Kasich, and Rubio are the only Republicans running who don’t act like patients who just ran out of a mental institution, I would not be surprised if she gets the nod. At least she knows how to fight, deliver devastating blows, and do it with class.

        1. charleo1 September 22, 2015

          I’ll give you that Fiorina has talent. One doesn’t climb the male dominated corporate ladder from secretary, to CEO. without having a great skill set, and work ethic. But I believe it’s her willingness to say anything to a group of people that is quite frankly, sick and tired of being lied to, that will be her downfall.
          Her ridiculous story about a group of P. Parenthood ghouls, keeping a kicking fetus alive so that they could harvest the infant’s brain, was so untrue, one wonders how she believes she’s going to get away with it in the general election, if she should be nominated. Because the fact is, there are already enough stupid boxes GOP candidates must check to make it thru their gerry-rigged primary anyway. Without just up and inventing one, you’ll need to answer for later on. No doubt, political strategists, and Party big wigs alike, were shaking their heads, and wondering how they’re going to spin that whooper, if and when the time comes. And all that is setting aside the undeniable male bias of huge factions of those voters now dominating the Right Wing. Who don’t support wage equality, the Ledbetter Act, women’s Right to choose, or see any particular problem with making the the act of rape itself harder to prove in a court of law. All issues Carly will need to very carefully parse to the satisfaction of millions of women, if she’s going to somehow make it to the White House.

        2. Looner September 22, 2015

          I have seen Fiorina act like a shrill harpee on talk shows, which would instantly be a no-go for many people. And no, that is not sexist. Trump is always a shrill harpee.

        3. Independent1 September 22, 2015

          And I wouldn’t be surprised if the GOP pulled someone out of the woodwork at the last minute, like maybe even Romney to run again, given how the current 17 clown show candidates have made such idiots of themselves in just two debates.

          1. Dominick Vila September 22, 2015

            That would not surprise me, but I think it may be too late to do that.

        4. @HawaiianTater September 22, 2015

          I usually agree with you but not on Fiorina having any real chance at getting the nom. Jeb! has been the establishment pick all along and it will come down to him and Trump. You can also bank on the fact that they will pull out every dirty trick in the book to get Jeb! nominated. I think Trump has a real chance of defeating Jeb! but it most assuredly will come down to those two.

          1. Dominick Vila September 22, 2015

            In an ideal world the logical choices for the GOP nomination are Jeb Bush, Kasich, and Rubio, but there are too many things at play this time that may result in the Republicans choosing someone else. Considering the level of hatred and prejudice that dominates a large segment of the GOP, choosing a man married to a Mexican lady, or a man named Marco Rubio who acknowledged that he is proud to have spoken to his grandfather in Spanish in highly unlikely. I disagree with most Republican policies, and I can’t stand the tactics they use, but they are not dumb. They know that choosing a Hispanic, or a person married to one, would be poison for them. As for Kasich, he committed political suicide when he stated that he would be willing to seek middle ground with Democrats. For most Republicans the only approach when dealing with Democrats is total and unconditional surrender. That, and the gender factor, is why I think Fiorina may have a chance to win the GOP nomination.

          2. @HawaiianTater September 23, 2015

            I would counter that Fiorina’s business record and lopsided loss to Boxer would be every bit as poisonous if not more so. The biggest reason Fiorina would not get the nom is the misogyny of the right. They are all too happy to have her running because they think it will show that they don’t hate all women (see: Carson, blacks) but they’d never actually let her got the nom. Do not forget who this party is. The is the patriarchal religious right where the man is the head of the household and the woman is barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen making a sammich for her man. I use hyperbole but my point is a valid one.

            Kasich is the lesser of all evils in the entire GOP field but you’re right about him. The current level of hatred towards the left precludes him from getting the nom. I also agree about Rubio not getting the nom because he is Hispanic. Jeb! being married to one is a different story though. He’s still a white guy and there are many in the party who would view his marriage as helpful in reaching out to the Hispanic community. The ones who actually know what they are talking about know that they have to get a certain amount of the Hispanic vote if they are going to have any chance at the WH.

    2. Independent1 September 21, 2015

      Do you think we need another pathological liar in the White House like GWB?? Carly isn’t much different.

      See this from the Huffington Post:

      Carly Fiorina Lies to Fox, Has a Bri-Wi Problem

      Carly Fiorina has a big problem with the truth. More specifically, she has a problem with embellishing the truth, in a manner very reminiscent of disgraced NBC anchor Brian Williams.

      On Friday, conservative radio host Sean Hannity asked Fiorina to explain stories that Hewlett-Packard violated in the Iran embargo, by selling millions
      of dollars of computers, parts and equipment through a Dubai-based
      company, while she was CEO.

      “The SEC did a thorough investigation and concluded that no one in management, myself included, knew anything about it,” Fiorina told Hannity.

      She repeated the line, nearly verbatim, to FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace, this weekend. “In fact, the SEC investigation proved that neither I nor anyone else in management knew about it,” she told Wallace.

      Yes,except the SEC investigation didn’t. In fact, the SEC didn’t perform an
      investigation at all, especially one that cleared her of any knowledge
      of the affair.

      For more, here:


      And during the debate, she flat out lied, making up a story about what was on the Planned Parenthood videos – Just like Romney and his “Portfolio of Women” instant fantasy in one of the debates against Obama.

      But see this from the NYTimes:

      But more importantly during Wednesday’s debate, Fiorina unleashed a
      scurrilous attack in her pitch to defund Planned Parenthood, saying of
      the attack videos released about the group:

      “I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully
      formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while
      someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.’ “

      In fact, the footage of the fetus was “stock footage” that “was added to the video to dramatize its content,” according to PolitiFact, which rated Fiorina’s comments as “mostly false.” FactCheck.org also said: “We are aware of no video showing such a scene.”

      As Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall put it Friday: “Fiorina has a habit of simply making things up.”

      For more, here:



      I think the last thing America needs is another pathological lying president – man or woman.

      1. Dominick Vila September 22, 2015

        No I don’t. My point is that the GOP establishment may have concluded that the only way to get rid of their Trump problem, and the only way to have a chance in 2016, is to nominate Fiorina.
        The hyperbole and distortions during the second GOP debate was classic Republican electioneering. From their objections to the Iran nuclear weapons agreement, to their proposals to fight ISIS, to their attacks against Planned Parenthood, including a video made by a far right organization designed to discredit an organization that has helped millions of women, to their xenophobic rhetoric on illegal immigration, everything they said sounded like it had come straight out of a Third Reich playbook. That does not mean, however, that they don’t have the right to nominate whomever they think has the best chance to win an election, or best represents their “values” and interests.

        1. Looner September 22, 2015

          The GOP is getting closer and closer to Fascism every way and every day.

          1. charleo1 September 22, 2015

            Agreed. But the vast majority don’t know one, “ism,” from the next one. Capitalism is always good, Socialism, and Communism are to be fought at every turn. But danged if they know what they are. It is curious though, how often Hitler is referenced by the Right, without so much as a mention of Fascism. Or a description of what exactly what the tenets of the Nazi Fascists were. Right Wing/Conservatives, Nationalistic militaristic, intolerant of immigrants, minorities, and other religions, and races. Demagogic, prone to scapegoating, extreme Christian theologically, and dictatorially authoritarian by nature.

          2. John Murchison September 22, 2015

            They are far from the party of Lincoln. They are slowly killing their party thru shear stupidity.

          3. Independent1 September 22, 2015

            Let’s hope that at least in the form the party is today, that the GOP does soon die and fade away before it completely destroys our country.

          4. John Murchison September 22, 2015

            Either the party must be rebuilt from the ground up or we need another party. Our system needs at least two.

          5. 1standlastword September 22, 2015

            And their constituents will be the first to exchange ballots for bullets!!! Liberals don’t have it in em…believe me…they know it!

          6. Dominick Vila September 22, 2015

            Especially when we consider how far they are willing to go to achieve their goals. Their proposal to change the Constitution to deport children born in the USA is a good example of that. The support that Kim Davis is getting speaks to that. The criticisms of the Iran nuclear agreement, without even bothering to challenge specific parts of the agreement to support their position is also evidence of totalitarianism. The same goes for the tactics they are using to defund Planned Parenthood, their criticisms of anyone that challenges their claims or rules against them, such as Justice Roberts, their attacks against SS and MEDICARE, and just about everything they say. Except, of course, their unconditional support to Israel and to the elite.

        2. Independent1 September 22, 2015

          I certainly never thought you would agree with that..my comment was more rhetorical and just ensuring other bloggers realized just how much Carly is like GWB, Romney and the run of the mill pathological lying Republicans of today. People who will whip up a lie at every opportunity to promote their misguided FAKE Conservative agenda.

  3. JPHALL September 21, 2015

    Two down, seventeen to go!

  4. charleo1 September 21, 2015

    Proving every dark cloud has at least one silver lining. Thanks Donald. Wipe all these schmucks out, and we’ll clean your plow in the general. It’s called WINNING!!!

    1. John Murchison September 22, 2015

      works for me

  5. Lynda Groom September 22, 2015

    Does young Mr. Walker understand that he just advised the party to lead from behind. Gee I thought they believed that is what Obama has been doing? What a rube.

  6. charleo1 September 22, 2015

    Personally, I was especially happy to see Scott Walker drop his bid for the Presidency. For me, Walker was the lead poster boy of what was already a hugely destructive problem of big money donors influencing public policy to the detriment of everyone else, before Citizens United came along. But for his part, Walker seemed to wear his status as a well paid lap dog for Charles, and David Koch, as a badge of honor. As in, I can not only carry the ball for the wealthy one tenth of one percent, but I can also get away with it at the ballot box. Look what I did to the teachers in Wisconsin, and see, still Governor! It was supposed to confirm his bonafides as a Conservative that, “could things done.” But, as we’ve all noticed, there’s something big happening in Conservative Right Wing of this Country today. In many ways a radically Conservative Supreme Court’s efforts to skew the power dynamic in favor of a corporate, and Oligarchical elite. Instead has had the effect of discrediting, and making suspect, every established Conservative politician on the Presidential roster. And of these candidates, and in this respect, Scott lead the field.

    1. 1standlastword September 22, 2015

      I can’t wait to see the Sword of Damocles lop off the Bushy head of Bush!

  7. FT66 September 22, 2015

    I urged fellow democrats right from the beginning to support Trump. There was a reason to do so. Some got it and the majority didn’t. The fruitful result of Trump’s presence has been recognised. First it was Rick Perry now it is Scott Walker. Trump is an important asset to us all.

    1. Looner September 22, 2015

      Be careful what you wish for

      1. FT66 September 22, 2015

        We are100% sure know what we are doing. It is quite simple Maths.

    2. 1standlastword September 22, 2015

      I too like the way Trump is spending his money!

  8. Looner September 22, 2015

    Isn’t this a gigantic heaping plop of hypocrisy ? I can’t imagine the personal attacks and vitriol that any of these GOP candidates are/were going to pile on Hillary …. And have been heaping on Obama. What values? Ones they only bring up in election years, or ones that they waste time on at the expense of actually working on the important things like infrastructure, new sources of reliable energy, healthcare and helping the poor and homeless, etc?

  9. kimbanyc September 22, 2015

    A Pious Hypocrite to the end ….Walker can now go back to what he does best…..Continuing to destroy Wisconsin…….with the apparent approval of The People of Wisconsin.

  10. Polana September 22, 2015

    He only suspended his run, he will emerge again (got plenty of money) when the sh…. t hit the fan and he will pop in. They all liars, Rubio is not fit to run even a dog kennel nor Cruz,Bush ?? Bush who? Is it a Bush Dynasty Era, from one idiot to another idiot??
    Read my lips (post)- he will be the nominee it’s written in the stars. Get ready for another war, another government collapse and the big money wins again. Damn the middle class. What middle class?? There’s only- 1% the rich 5% wanna be richer, 10% wanna to be rich and 84% will help them to get rich and richer while they will hope that some of the riches will trickle down to them. Keep them in the office and believe their BS.
    The more corrupt state, the more it legislates – Tacitus. It will be a long,long and boring all the same BS for the next 14 mo. Only in America., world is watching and laughing.
    From one Bozo to another, and never learn from the past. Gullibility at it’s best.
    Walker kept all out of classrooms. Keep them dumb and in fear and U will win every time. Hi did, but his bus stopped and I hope that Wisconsinites finally will see the light and get rid of him for good. Koch Bros. did or they will help him if others fail.
    Morons will always votes for the same as they R.- Morons

  11. John Murchison September 22, 2015

    If Walker really wants the republican party to get back to their basic message then they should be fiscally responsible amd drop all of this trickle down nonsense and hypocritical moralizing.

  12. Carolyn1520 September 22, 2015

    I breathed a sigh of relief when this clown got off the bus. He is one of the more dangerous fools.
    Trump has held a mirror up . I’m still not sure this entire run isn’t more than amusement for him and an ego thing, so he can reflect later on the potential of being the best president that never was. But he has managed to put an unfiltered spotlight on the republican party and what they’ve become.

    1. 1standlastword September 22, 2015

      Shows the way to beat money is with money. Sort of like fighting fire with fire…it works!

  13. dog lover September 22, 2015

    Walker was an idiot ( look at wis.) And still is an idiot. He just trying to shuttle Trumps campaign because Trump spoke the truth about walker.


    1. RED September 22, 2015

      Really?? Are we having an election in 2015??? Typical for ignorant Trump followers.

      1. dog lover September 22, 2015

        Nothing like versing with a ignoramus. But,I do stand corrected on my typo

    2. CrankyToo September 22, 2015

      Wow. You really are a dog lover, aren’t you?

  14. Julius G September 22, 2015

    That’s his own version of “leading from behind”..

  15. 1standlastword September 22, 2015

    It’s sad and ridiculous that establishment “whore” politicians blame the ‘consequences’ of their failure on the ‘consequences’ of their failure because they don’t/ can’t see the ’causes’ of their failures and that cause is they are completely out of touch with their constituents.

    I think by now the smart people in the room can predict the loser is the one who perpetually regurgitates nostalgia, cliche, the hackneyed bootstrap stories personal success, and ad ho

  16. Gillettestevens September 22, 2015

    Walker is crawling off, but not before he does what he is told by the Washington establishment…”attack Trump”. The blood-suckers in Washington want other blood-suckers who will commit to doing nothing while in office. They are afraid Trump might have the will and determination to actually make change…real change…not the slimy Obama slogan version.

    1. charleo1 September 22, 2015

      Kudos to Trump for calling out the Republican establishment for the total shills they’ve become. But the Country is not in the market for Trump’s demagoguery. Time, and again, America has been offered the kind of change Trump offers. And just as many times, America has said loud, and clear, that’s not who we are. And so America, and Americans shall again with Mr. Donald J. Trump.

  17. RED September 22, 2015

    Just more evidence of how disgusting, bigoted, & ignorant the Republican hate group is. Two years ago this awful piece of garbage, Walker, was their hero. But now this degenerate scumbag is not ignorant enough, hateful enough, or evil enough. That says a lot!


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