Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced Monday that he has suspended of the 2016 presidential campaign, after his poll numbers recently dropped to less than 1 percent.
The governor becomes the second Republican to effectively exit the contest after former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. In what was likely his last major push on the campaign trail, Walker had gone back to the wellspring of his rise to national prominence and played up his opposition to unions throughout September. He’s most famous for stripping away nearly all collective bargaining rights for most public employees through Act 10, which he signed into law in 2011.
In his speech announcing his campaign in July, Walker also played up that political victory. He also touted improved educational outcomes in his state during his tenure, a claim that my coworker Alyson Klein discussed here.
Walker also switched his position on the Common Core State Standards, going from being a low-profile supporter to an opponent, although the state has so far kept the standards.
In a panel hosted last week by Heritage Action for Action, a conservative group, Walker also committed to abolishing the U.S. Department of Education and turning over funds now controlled by Washington to the states. He reiterated that theme in his announcement that he was suspending his campaign, saying that the American people should be trusted and “not the federal government.”
During the second GOP debate last week, Walker touted improving the educational system as a preferable alternative to increasing the minimum wage.
Walker was first elected in 2010 and then re-elected two more times, including in a 2012 special election and in 2014 despite heavy opposition from the Wisconsin Education Association Council. With Walker suspending his campaign, there are now 15 GOP candidates actively seeking the Republican nomination, including seven current or former governors.
Photo: Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during a campaign event at a Harley-Davidson dealership Tuesday, July 14, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)