Here’s The One Candidate Set To Benefit In A Big Way From Scott Walker’s Departure

There is one candidate that appears best positioned to benefit from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s decision on Monday to end his bid for the presidency: Marco Rubio.

While being a tea party favorite, he also has cross over appeal as a candidate the GOP could get behind. Rubio also came out of last week’s Republican presidential debate with the wind at his back, leaping up to 4th place in a new CNN poll with 11 percent support, behind Trump at 24 percent, Fiorina at 15 and Carson at 14. Jeb Bush is currently in 5th place, holding steady at 9 percent.

In his speech announcing the suspension of his campaign, Gov. Scott Walker appeared to perhaps be alluding to Rubio when he stated that Republicans needed to get behind a candidate who “has an optimistic view of America” like Ronald Reagan did.

Walker called on other GOP candidates to leave the race to allow the anti-Trump vote to coalesce. “I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same [as I did] so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country,” he said. 

Rubio was quick to praise Walker, most likely in an outreach to Walker’s supporters. The candidate posted on Facebook Monday night:

Scott Walker is a good man who entered the presidential race after winning three grueling campaigns in four years. I know many people are disappointed with Scott’s announcement and I respect what a difficult decision it must have been. He remains one of the best governors in the country and I have no doubt that he’ll continue the fight for conservative principles. Republicans are lucky to have Scott on our team, and I wish the best to him and his family.

Walker’s New Hampshire campaign co-chair has already signed on with Rubio, which he announced shortly before the governor withdrew from the race. “I have great admiration and respect for my friend Scott Walker,” Cliff Hurst, the Granite State’s former GOP vice chairman said. “However, it is clear to me that his campaign is going in a different direction at this time. I believe the New Hampshire primary will be critically important to determining who our next president will be.”

Senior adviser Jim Merrill praised Hurst, according to WMUR. “It’s an honor to earn Cliff’s endorsement and for him to agree to serve as a co-chair of Marco’s campaign here in New Hampshire,” Merrill said. “Cliff is not only one of our state’s most highly regarded grassroots leaders, but is also one of the most decent people I’ve known in my years in politics,” he added.

The Des Moines Register’s chief political reporter also tweeted that key Walker supporters in Iowa are signing on with Rubio.

Conservative commentator Erick Erickson stated that he also believes many Walker donors will likely get behind Rubio now.

h/t: Yahoo Politics

BREAKING: Major 2016 Presidential Candidate To Drop Out Of Race

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has called a press conference for 6pm Monday night, where it is reported that he will announce that he is ending his bid for the presidency.

The reason for his withdrawal appears to be the same as former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s: funding.

“’The short answer is money,’ said a supporter of Mr. Walker’s who was briefed on the decision. ‘He’s made a decision not to limp into Iowa,’” The New York Times is reporting

“Donors have totally dried up for Walker, and getting people to come on Thursday was unbelievably hard,” said one of the donors. “Everyone I know was just totally stunned by how difficult the fund-raising became, but the candidate and the campaign just couldn’t inspire confidence.”

Image credit: Andrew Cline /

Image credit: Andrew Cline /

Donations to the candidate began to dry up after his disappointing performances in the first two Republican debates. Walker was among the top tier candidates entering into August’s debate, but his support had subsequently dried up. The Real Clear Politics average of polls over the last several weeks has him garnering 1.8 percent of voters, while a CNN poll released this week showed that his support had dropped to less than one percent.

The Wisconsin governor was hoping to make his stand in neighboring Iowa, where he had been at or near the top for several months; however, once again, his standing dropped precipitously to a little over four percent in recent polling, putting him in seventh place.

Scoring The Great Debate

I didn’t watch CNN’s telecast of the Republican debate because I was there in person.

For some reason — maybe it was my last name — I was able to score three second-row seats at the Reagan Library for the two debates.

More than 20 million people around the world tuned in, apparently making the three-hour debate CNN’s highest rated show ever.

It was a long night of politics and entertainment. I just hope my fellow conservative Republicans watching on TV saw the same political reality show I did — and learned some lessons.

It’s pretty clear to everyone from Joe Scarborough to the New York Times editorial board that the three big winners Wednesday night were Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio.

All three shined on stage when it came to substance, but Fiorina made herself a national household name overnight.

She was smart, tough, passionate and quick on her feet, proving why she deserves to be on the main stage. She had several big “moments” and demonstrated a phenomenal grasp of the issues.

Christie did well, connecting with voters, hitting several questions out of the park and reminding us why he was once a favorite in the 2016 race.

Rubio still looks like he’s in grad school, but he showed he’s done his foreign policy homework and knows what makes America great.

Meanwhile, the good doctor Ben Carson was a clear loser.

He offered virtually no specifics, had no “moments” and showed that while he’s a nice guy and a great surgeon, the presidency is out of his league.

The biggest loser of the night was Trump, who was as awful in person as he reportedly appeared on millions of split-screen TVs.

He made crazy faces, offended people, refused to apologize when he should have, spoke in his usual platitudes and never said a substantive sentence.

I heard more than a few groans and complaints from the Republicans sitting behind me.

Most of the other candidates — the governors and others who were not there because of their celebrity — did OK. They didn’t hurt themselves, but they didn’t stand out, either.

Jeb Bush did better than last time, which isn’t saying much, but he’s in for the long haul. He’ll do better when there are fewer candidates left and the debates turn more serious.

Scott Walker did better too, though he seemed to disappear sometime late in hour two. Last time I remember seeing him, he was staring at fiery Fiorina and nodding in agreement like a bobblehead.

Ted Cruz was correct on all the issues, but he’s not as likable as Rubio, whose only flaw is he still looks like he’s in grad school.

Mike Huckabee got in a lick or two, but he’s still beating the drum for his Fair Tax, which everyone except him knows will never go anywhere.

Rand Paul was there, I think.  So was Gov. John Kasich. Kasich was Kasich — solid and substantive.

He’s a winner who knows how to govern Ohio sensibly, but he probably should have been included in the preliminary debate with Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham.

The opening debate, which Graham stole with his humor and GOP team spirit, was better in some ways because without the 2,000-pound celebrity in the room, it was all substance.

I’m concerned about Trump for a lot of reasons. Yet for all the trouble he’s causing the GOP, his celebrity presence is actually doing real conservatives a great favor.

He’s already brought tens of millions of new eyeballs to the debate broadcasts that otherwise would never have been made aware of the existence of candidates like Fiorina or Kasich.

I just hope those millions of viewers saw what I saw at the Reagan Library — that Emperor Trump had no clothes on and most of the other real Republican candidates were well dressed.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

The Winners And Losers From The Second Republican Debate

In the second Republican debate, certain individuals shined and raised the profile of their candidacies in a positive way, while others seemed to fade into the woodwork. Some candidates who were winners in the first debate lost this time around and vice versa.

After last month’s debate, I looked at where the candidates stood in the polls going into the debate, versus their results in the Drudge online poll immediately following, as well as the interest candidates generated on Google. Finally, I factored in the candidates stand-out, crowed-pleasing moments, which are key in our digital, soundbite age.

Using those measures, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson were clear winners in the first go around. Trump did nothing to particularly hurt or help the momentum that he carried into the contest. Carly Fiorino received special mention for her strong performance in the early debate, with the correct prediction that she would earn her spot in the next primetime debate. The losers in the first debate were Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

The deck was shuffled at Wednesday night’s debate. Once again, Trump’s standing in the race was likely not helped or hurt by his performance. Going into the debate the most recent polling had him at the top of the field, registering 27 percent. The billionaire candidate dominated the post debate Drudge poll (over 630,000 voted), leading the field by a long shot with 53 percent saying he was the winner. He was also the most searched candidate on Google according to the Washington Post.

One of Trump’s memorable moments was when Rand Paul attacked him for criticizing other people’s physical appearance. The Donald responded with a good laugh-line reminiscent of his Rosie O’Donnell retort in the first debate: “I never attacked him on his looks and believe me there’s plenty of subject matter right there.”

The business mogul also effectively called into question Carly Fiorina’s mixed record as head of Hewlett-Packard. Her time at the helm “led to the destruction of the company,” Trump said. “She can’t run any of my companies — that I can tell you.” However, Fiorina’s moment to hammer Trump was about to come. 

Clear Winners

Carly Fiorina – It was clearly Carly’s night by every measure. The candidate went into the debate at 5 percent in the most recent polling, up from barely registering before the first debate. After the contest, 21 percent said she had won. Fiorina also prompted the most searched moment during the debate, when she spoke emotionally about losing her step-child to drug addiction. The candidate even managed to the turn the topic of drug use into a laugh-line with a dig on Jeb Bush. “The marijuana that kids are smoking today is not the same as the marijuana that Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago,” she said. 

Two other strong moments for Carly, was her response to Donald Trump’s remark in Rolling Stone about her face (“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said”) and her powerful prosecution of Planned Parenthood for harvesting aborted babies’ body parts. “I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, it’s heart beating, it’s legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us,” she said, drawing applause from the audience. 

Marco Rubio –  Rubio was a winner in the first debate, and he was a winner once again Wednesday night. Though he registered the same 6 percent on the Drudge poll that he had going into the debate, he had some strong moments and a high interest on Google throughout the debate. Strong on foreign policy, his time to shine was speaking about the Russian threat. He said Putin is trying to re-position Russia back to its Soviet Union, world menacing heydays. “[Putin’s] trying to destroy NATO. And this is what this is a part of. He is exploiting a vacuum that this administration has left in the Middle East.”

Chris Christie – The New Jersey governor moved from loser to winner for his debate performance last night. While he registered at 1 percent in polling going into and out of the debate, he had a solid interest on Google and some memorable moments. He was particularly strong on national defense and spoke with great affect regarding his 9-11 experience. “I was named U.S. attorney by President Bush on September 10th, 2001. And that next day my wife Mary Pat did what she did every day, she traveled through the World Trade Center and went to her office two blocks from the World Trade Center,” Chrisie said. “And after those planes hit, for five-and-a-half-hours after that, I couldn’t reach her, didn’t know whether she was dead or alive, and we had three children at the time, 8, 5 and 1.”  

Image Credit: Washington Post

Image Credit: Washington Post

Clear Losers

Ben Carson – The former doctor was a winner after the first debate, because he had memorable moments, especially in his closing. He had none Wednesday night. He went into the debate at 24 percent in polling, and 4 percent felt he had won. His interest on Google dropped off significantly.

Scott Walker – The Wisconsin governor was neither a winner or loser in the last debate, though he had a memorable moment or two. Wednesday night he lacked those times and registered at 2 percent going into the debate, with only 1 percent feeling he won in the Drudge poll.

John Kasich – The Ohio governor was also neither a winner or loser in the first debate, but enjoyed the support of the Cleveland hometown crowd. Kasich went into the second one registering 3 percent support. In last night’s poll, one percent felt he won. He also experienced a significant drop off in interest on Google.

Falling in the neutral ground for the second debate were Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Huckabee. Bush was in the losing category last time, but managed to have some memorable moments defending his brother George W. Bush for his leadership in protecting America, as well as defending his wife against a past comment from Trump.

Cruz was a clear winner in the first debate, but the second one did not seem to offer the outstanding orator as many opportunities to shine. Paul came off as less surly than the first debate (when he was in the losing category), and spoke with conviction and knowledge about the Constitution. Huckabee received an honorable mention for his memorable closing in the first debate, but Wednesday struggled to get into the mix. He did speak powerfully about the need to preserve religious liberty, referencing the Kim Davis case.

The candidates are slated to meet again on October 28 in Boulder, Colorado.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

CNN Just Officially Announced Which Candidates Will Be In Next Week’s GOP Debate

After facing some backlash for a selection method some felt might unfairly exclude Carly Fiorina, CNN announced its official prime-time lineup for Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate.

While the host network initially announced it would choose the participants based on an average of polling results between July 16 and Sept. 10, many thought Fiorina’s popularity spike following the first debate earned her a spot on the main stage for the second.

CNN conceded, updating its criteria to include only polls taken after Aug. 7. Under the original system, Fiorina would have ranked 11th with 2.2 percent support in an average of qualifying polls.

“The top 10 candidates overall – plus Fiorina, whose average support places her within the top 10 in polls conducted after the first debate held August 6 – have all qualified for the 8:00 p.m. debate next Wednesday in Simi Valley,” CNN Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta wrote.

Under the updated system, Fiorina tied for seventh place with Mike Huckabee.

Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump earned center-stage privileges, emerging from the selection process with nearly 24 percent support. Jeb Bush and Scott Walker round out the top three, with 11.5 and 9.4 percent support respectively.

The five candidates who did not make the cut include Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham. This group will take part in a debate set for Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Only one candidate – Jim Gilmore – failed to reach the 1 percent threshold required to be eligible for either debate.

h/t: TheBlaze

Did Carly Fiorina earn her spot on the stage? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.