Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told reporters Monday evening that he is dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination, saying his is suspending his campaign immediately.
“The Bible is full of stories of people being called to lead in unusual ways,” he said. “I believe I am being called to lead by helping clear the field.”
Walker then called on his former opponents in the race for the GOP nomination to consider bowing out as well in order to mount a unified opposition to Donald Trump, who continues to dominate in national polls.
“I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to do the same, so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner,” he said. “This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and more importantly, to the future of our country.”
With his poll numbers plunging to zero, his approval rating in his home state dropping to 40 percent, and former wealthy donors questioning his viability, the former GOP frontrunner tried in recent weeks to refocus his campaign on what made him famous: busting unions. That effort has so far failed to muster him the support he needs to compete on a national level against more than a dozen adversaries.
Walker’s short campaign contained such highlights as giving millions in subsidies for a sports stadium co-owned by one of his donors, slashing funding for public universities, suggesting the U.S. build a massive wall along its border with Canada, signing a controversial 20 week abortion ban into law, waffling on whether he believes in birthright citizenship, and suggesting that only “a handful” of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are moderate.
Walker lamented Monday: “Sadly, the debate taking place in the party today is not focused on an optimistic view of America. Instead, it has drifted into personal attacks. In the end, I believe that the voters want to be for something and not against someone.”