After using a “divide and conquer” strategy to push hard-right policies in Wisconsin, a record that he hoped would shore up right-wing support for his presidential bid, Gov. Scott Walker has reportedly decided to drop out of the race months before the first votes are even cast.
Walker, who went from frontrunner to receiving asterisk-level support in the latest CNN poll, made more news with what he didn’t say than what he did say.
Walker refused to answer many questions asked of him — punting and equivocating when faced with questions about ISIS, net neutrality, abortion, marriage equality, homosexuality, President Obama, evolution and immigration — while obfuscating his record, even bragging about his intentionally misleading campaign ads on abortion. He even made the astounding claim that he was immune from committing policy flip-flops because he never served in Congress.
For example, Walker went from supporting immigration reform , to denouncing it and even calling for stricter limits on legal immigration, to supporting it again, to again opposing it. Most recently, Walker took three different positions within a week on whether he supports birthright citizenship (he finally concluded that he has no position). He also said that a U.S.-Canada wall was a “legitimate” proposal he would consider before saying he didn’t actually mean it.
Walker’s tendency to take no positions on anything also came out during the last debate: When asked about the minimum wage, which he had previously called “lame,” Walker deflected to talk about cutting property taxes and repealing Obamacare.
Trailing in the polls, Walker finally returned to his strong suit of attacking the labor movement and blaming all of America’s ills on unions, while promising to “wreak havoc on Washington.” Such anti-union language is typical of the governor who said that people can trust him to fight the country’s enemies as commander-in-chief because he took on pro-labor demonstrators: “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
For a candidate who took so much time pleasing the GOP’s mega-donors, including the Koch brothers, by pushing through laws aiding corporations while hampering labor unions, regulations, social services on public education, it’s rather ironic that his campaign is citing a lack of money for his decision to leave the race.
He will likely also be the first of many candidates to drop out despite having previously insisted that God wanted them in the race. As Walker put it in one fundraising letter:
My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life. Each day I pray and then take time to read from the Bible and from a devotional named Jesus Calling.
As you can imagine, the months leading up to my announcement that I would run for President of the United States were filled with a lot of prayer and soul searching.
Here’s why: I needed to be certain that running was God’s calling — not just man’s calling. I am certain: This is God’s plan for me and I am humbled to be a candidate for President of the United States.