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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's official exit from the presidential race Monday may have seemed shocking from the outside. But Rick Wiley, Walker's campaign manager, gave Politico some insight into what went wrong. The death knell, he says, was Walker's mediocre performance at the second GOP debate.
"The press corps wrote that he didn't help himself but didn't hurt himself. But the didn't-help-himself narrative took over. And fundraising started to go down," Wiley explained. It didn't help that Walker's staff had been way too big from the start. Walker was "hiring former Republican National Committee aides and Washington operatives, plus a Beltway P.R. firm to target conservative media, a full-time photographer, and well-known consultants for outreach to evangelicals," according to Politico.
"Everything was rolling, and then we just hit a wall," Wiley said. There was the Iowa State Fair birthright citizenship gaffe, the money problems, Walker's obvious unpreparedness when answering questions, the money problems, the second debate, the money problems. Walker, who was once a frontrunner in the early polls, eventually bailed on Monday following a hasty meeting thrown together by his wife.
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"It is really, really difficult," Wiley said. "I'm just saying, you know, like it's a f--king bitch, man. It really is."
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