Walker exits ’16 presidential race to clear way for ‘positive, conservative’ candidate

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (Photo: WBAY)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) — About two months into his campaign for the Republican nomination for president, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has stepped out of the race, saying he wants to clear the way so a candidate with a “positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field.”

Walker held a news conference Monday in Madison where he announced he was immediately suspending his campaign for 2016.

The governor invoked Ronald Reagan and the current state of politics as he spoke to the media.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2016 Election: Candidates ready to run
PHOTO GALLERY: 2016 Election: Candidates ready to run

“Ronald Reagan was good for America because he was an optimist. Sadly, the debate taking place in the Republican party today is not focusing on that optimistic view of America,” Gov. Walker said. “Instead, it has drifted into personal attacks. In the end, I believe the voters want to be for something and not against someone.”

The governor thanked his family, his campaign team and God before leaving the podium without taking questions.

After a strong start to his campaign, he started to sink in Republican polls.The latest CNN/ORC poll showed Walker with support of less than one-half a percentage point of Republicans surveyed.

The Times quoted three Republicans familiar with the governor, speaking on condition of anonymity. One source said the governor’s decision was based on money.

Gov. Walker is the second Republican candidate step out of the race for 2016. Former Texas governor Rick Perry previously dropped out of the race.

Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos released this statement ahead of Gov. Walker’s announcement:

“Wisconsin is fortunate to have Governor Walker for four full years. The Badger State has benefitted greatly under his leadership with the Act 10 reforms, billions of dollars in tax cuts and a decrease in property taxes. He has set the bar high for successful governors.

“Governor Walker has an amazing story to tell about turning Wisconsin around. It is unfortunate that the bluster of candidates overshadowed his substance.

“I look forward to working with Governor Walker on additional reform measures throughout his second term in office. The nation’s loss is truly Wisconsin’s gain.”

Reaction was swift to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to end his campaign for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Fellow candidates like Jeb Bush and Donald Trump took to Twitter to praise Walker, while groups and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle sent out statements both critical and supportive of the governor.

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