Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker dropped out of the Republican presidential race on Monday and he called on others to follow his exit.
“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,” said Walker, who is the son of a Methodist minister. “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 frontrunner.”
Walker made the announcement at five o’clock Monday afternoon in Madison, Wisconsin. Walker lashed out at front-runner Donald Trump, saying the campaign had “drifted into personal attacks” that divert attention from the GOP’s “optimistic vision” for the country.
“In the end, I believe the voters want to be for something and not against someone,” Walker said. “Instead of hearing how bad things are, we want to hear how we can make them better for everyone.”
AUDIO of Walker’s announcement, 3:24
Trump began haranguing against Walker in July, as Trump urged Iowans to vault him into first place in the race instead of Walker. Walker had held that position for months, after a strong showing at an event hosted by Republican Congressman Steve King in January, but Walker’s performance in the first two nationally televised debates and recent tumble in the polls caused his financial support to crumble. Walker, ironically, embraced Trump’s trademarked “make America great again” slogan as he exited the race.
“We are a party that believes in the American people, not the federal government,” Walker said. “The ideas will help us win the election next fall and, more importantly, these ideas will make our country great again.”
Walker is the second Republican presidential candidate to exit the race. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry suspended his campaign earlier this month.