The Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, stepped out of the 2016 Presidential race on the evening of September 21. But what’s really surprising is the way the remaining candidates are responding to his unexpected move.
Walker, who is famed for being the first American governor to defy all odds and survive in spite of a recall effort, wrote a long letter to his fans on Facebook telling them about how he got into the Republican party due to Ronald Reagan. He went on to criticize debates today, calling them “personal attacks” rather than optimistic views on America and its future.
He then urged everyone to get back to the foundation of the Republican mandate that centered around the people and not the government. Walker also asked fellow GOP participants to step down and allow voters to “focus on a limited number of candidates.” Simultaneously, he took a shot at Donald Trump, asking voters to pay attention to a “positive conservative alternative” instead of the present frontrunner, which is Trump.
Many people probably expected Trump to react with anger, like he usually does. He of course took to Facebook to post a statement of his own, but his response was surprisingly amicable. Trump simply wrote, “I got to know Scott Walker well- he’s a very nice person and has a great future.” The tone of his post is debatable, but it’s a stark change from his previous posts that outwardly bash his co-candidates, particularly Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina. The majority of the 5,000 comments on Trump’s post boasted words of encouragement and praise for the presidential candidate, who continues to dominate the polls.
Marco Rubio also seemed to honor Walker’s decision, as he soon posted a status praising him for winning three of his campaigns in four years. He also added that while Walker’s announcement must have been a disappointment for his fans, he “remains one of the best governors of the country.” That being said, Rubio clearly is paying no attention to Walker’s advice for other candidates to pull out of the race. Instead, Rubio used the momentum of Walker’s departure to push his own agenda.
After addressing Walker, Rubio posted a video on Facebook telling viewers why America would be better in his hands. The video was viewed over 20,000 times and shared more than 675 times in as little as an hour. Rubio is also reportedly scoring some of Walker’s endorsements. So, while Rubio might have put up a good front, surely he, along with every other Republican candidate, is probably secretly celebrating Scott Walker’s game-changing news.
Another candidate whose reaction is especially surprising is Carly Fiorina—while most of the other Republican candidates have praised Walker, Fiorina hasn’t said a word about it, at least not on Twitter or Facebook. (She’s been actively tweeting about her own campaign though.) New polls show that Fiorina is sitting behind Trump in second place after last week’s GOP debate on.
Scott Walker’s Facebook page, accessed September 22, 2015.
Donald Trump’s Facebook page, accessed September 22, 2015.
Marco Rubio’s Facebook page, accessed September 22, 2015.
Matthews, D., “Scott Walker dropping out is good news for Marco Rubio,” Vox web site, September 21, 2015.
Bradner, E., “Poll: Fiorina rockets to No. 2 behind Trump in GOP field,” CNN web site, September 21, 2015.