Unable to get much traction in recent polls, pro-life Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has dropped out of the Republican race for president. Walker was initially thought to be one of the top-tier GOP presidential candidates, who enjoyed the support of a number of top pro-life advocates and Republicans.
But Walker’s campaign never caught fire as candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina attracted significant support from grassroots Republicans.
The New York Times reports the Republican is planning to drop out at a late Monday press event:
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has concluded he no longer has a path to the Republican presidential nomination and plans to drop out of the 2016 campaign, according to three Republicans familiar with his decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mr. Walker called a news conference in Madison at 6 p.m. Eastern time.
“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.”
Below is the full statement from Governor Walker on his exiting the race today:
As a kid, I was drawn to Ronald Reagan because he was a Republican and a conservative. But most of all, I admired him because of his eternal optimism in the American people.
That thought came into my head when we were all standing at the Reagan Library last Wednesday. President Reagan was good for America because he was an optimist.
Sadly, the debate taking place in the Republican party today is not focused on that optimistic view of America. Instead, it has drifted into personal attacks.
In the end, I believe that voters want to be for something and not against someone. Instead of talking about how bad things are, we want to hear about how we can make them better for everyone.
We need to get back to the basics of our party:
We are the party that believes that people create jobs – not the government – and the best way to grow the economy is to get the government out of the way and build it from the ground up.
We are the party that believes that the way to measure success in government is by how many people are no longer dependent on the government – because we ultimately believe in the dignity of work.
We are the party that believes that a strong military leads to peace through strength and that will protect our children and future generations – we believe that good will triumph over evil.
We are the party that believes in the American people – and not the federal government.
These ideas will help us win the election next fall and – more importantly – these ideas will help make our country great again.
To refocus the debate will require leadership. While I was sitting in church yesterday, the pastor’s words reminded me that the Bible is full of stories about people who were called to be leaders in unusual ways.
Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With that in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.
I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and – ultimately – to the future of our country.
This is a difficult decision as so many wonderful people stepped up to support our efforts. Tonette and I are so very thankful for the many outstanding volunteers and the excellent staff who helped us throughout the campaign. You have become like family to us.
And speaking of family, I want to personally thank my wife Tonette – who has been a rock – as well as our amazing sons Matt and Alex. I thank my parents, my brother David and his family – and all of our other family and friends for their love and support.
Most of all, I want to thank God for His abundant grace. Win or lose, it is more than enough for any of us.
Walker came to the Republican race with a long pro-life record. In July, Walker signed into law a pro-life bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. And more recently, he called for defunding Planned Parenthood after it was caught selling aborted babies and their body parts.
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, said Walker has a lengthy pro-life record.
“Walker already has a strong record of supporting pro-life, pro-woman policies in Wisconsin. Under his leadership, the state of Wisconsin no longer funds abortion giant Planned Parenthood, and health care plans on the state exchanges do not cover abortion on-demand,” she said.
In 2013, Gov. Walker signed an ultrasound bill (Senate Bill 206, also known as Sonya’s Law) that ensures that women seeking abortions are given the opportunity to see their unborn children through ultrasound. The legislation also requires abortionists to have admitting privileges within thirty miles of their facility. This is the kind of pro-woman, pro-life bill that not only has proven to save the lives of unborn babies, but it has closed down abortion clinics that can’t comply with basic health and safety requirements. Sure enough, abortion centers in Wisconsin closed down after Walker signed the bill into law.
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In an ad during his re-election campaign, Walker put forward a clear cut pro-life message showing compassion for women and unborn children: “I’m pro-life. But there’s no doubt in my mind the decision of whether or not to end a pregnancy is an agonizing one. That’s why I support legislation to increase safety and to provide more information for a woman considering her options.”
Walker has been a tireless advocate for women and unborn children, and when the bill passed, Wisconsin Right to Life applauded his efforts to protect citizens in their state.
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The former legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life, Susan Armacost, said “We thank Governor Walker for signing this important piece of legislation into law. Sonya’s Law will empower women to make truly informed decisions regarding how they will proceed with their pregnancies and will protect the lives of women who experience complications after their abortions.”
Since the ultrasound bill helps protect women and provides them with more information, you would think groups like Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List would support it. But instead, they oppose it and say it causes undue burden for women seeking abortions. This is because abortion businesses lose money when women change their mind about abortion. And since 78% of women who see an ultrasound of their unborn baby refuse abortion, its really bad for business.
Since Governor Walker took office in January 2011, the pro-life movement in Wisconsin has made monumental gains. Walker signed into law a state budget that included a provision to prohibit the UW Hospital Authority from being involved in performing abortions and from using taxpayer dollars to pay medical students to learn how to perform abortions. Walker steered Wisconsin Well Woman funds to local counties instead of Planned Parenthood.
Governor Walker also signed bills that allow Wisconsin to opt out of abortion funding under Obamacare, to protect pregnant women from coerced abortions and to prohibit RU486 chemical web cam abortions.
Ultimately, Walker and his record will appeal to pro-life Republicans looking for a replacement for Obama, who has been called the Abortion President.
As Armacost said: “Governor Walker’s deep belief in the sanctity of all human life is evident in the courageous actions he has taken to build a culture of life in Wisconsin. His concern for the most vulnerable members of the human family is reflected in the common sense and compassionate laws he has signed into law. Those initiatives will greatly benefit unborn children, women who are considering abortion and taxpayers of our state.”
Pro-life voters can also be assured that Governor Walker is an effective pro-life governor — after all, abortion activists wished he were dead. But he and his prospects for 2016 are very much alive.
Wisconsin Right to Life provided LifeNews with a lengthy dossier on Walker’s pro-life record, including votes while he was a member of the state legislature:
Abortion Funding: As an Assembly Representative, Walker voted against taxpayer funding of abortions for public employees. As Governor, Walker signed into law a state budget provision to prohibit the UW Hospital Authority from being involved in performing abortions and from using taxpayer dollars to pay medical students to learn to perform abortions. Also as Governor, Walker signed legislation allowing Wisconsin to opt-out of taxpayer-funded abortion coverage under ObamaCare.
Funding Abortion Providers: As an Assembly Representative, Walker voted to prohibit taxpayer dollars from going to organizations that provide or promote abortions. As Governor, Walker signed into law a state budget provision to prohibit Title V taxpayer dollars from going to organizations that perform abortions. Also as Governor, Walker steered funds from the Wisconsin Well Woman program to local counties instead of Planned Parenthood.
Protecting Unborn Children: As an Assembly Representative, Walker voted to recognize an unborn child as a separate victim of a criminal act against the pregnant mother, to prohibit partial-birth abortions, and to protect unborn children at risk due to drug or alcohol use by the mother.
Protecting Families: As an Assembly Representative, Walker voted to strengthen Wisconsin’s law requiring parental consent before a minor’s abortion. As Governor, Walker signed legislation returning sex education curriculum to local control and allowing abstinence-only programs.
Protecting Women: As an Assembly Representative, Walker voted for the Woman’s Right to Know Act which requires that women be given full information prior to an abortion and establishes a 24-hour waiting period. As Governor, Walker signed legislation to protect women from coerced abortions; to prohibit unsafe RU 486 chemical web cam abortions designed to expand abortions into local communities; to require that a woman view an ultrasound of her unborn child 24 hours before an abortion can take place; and to require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.
Alternatives to Abortion: As an Assembly Representative, Walker voted for tax exemptions related to adoption expenses; to improve adoption laws; to expand funding for adoption assistance for children at risk of developing disabilities; and for a provision to allow a woman and her unborn child to be considered as a family eligible for BadgerCare.
Conscience Protections: As an Assembly Representative, Walker authored legislation to strengthen conscience protections for medical professionals and institutions.
Other: As an Assembly Representative, Walker voted in favor of legislation to prohibit lawsuits based on the “wrongful” life of an unborn child and to prohibit the sale of body parts of aborted babies.