A former top aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, fired off a series of tweets Monday afternoon explaining why he dropped out of the race.
Less than an hour after news broke that Walker would suspend his campaign, Liz Mair — a former Walker adviser who was forced to resign earlier this year after criticizing various aspects of Iowa politics — tweeted out more than two dozen tweets explaining the governor's demise.
Mair blamed the governor's sagging poll numbers less on the antiestablishment political climate and more on a number of strategic miscalculations:
Things he got wrong: Misunderstanding the GOP base, its priorities and stances. Pandering. Flip-flopping.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Becoming so invested in winning, no matter what it took, that he lost sight of his real identity as a political leader.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Treating Iowa as locked down, boasting early of the ability to win even in states like Nevada where winning always looked improbable.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
But Mair laid the majority of the blame on poor advice from campaign advisers who didn't know Walker well and didn't help him play to his political strengths:
Hiring staff who did not know him well and did not understand his record or his reputation across all segments in Wisconsin.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Allowing certain staff (ahem) to marginalize and cut off people in Walker's orbit who had got him to the governorship and kept him there.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Hiring people who spent a lot to build out a massive operation that would not be sustainable unless financing remained amazing forever.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Minor things that didn't help: Key staff spending their time on, uh, stuff other than work when campaign was flailing.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Not educating himself fast enough on issues outside governor's remit. Educating himself on some things by talking to the wrong people.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Mair did say that Walker made one correct decision — getting out now:
One last thought: Walker's timing is good. Word is he just avoided getting tied to a very bad story that could well have been coming.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Walker's poll numbers had sunk to dismal levels in the past month following two widely panned debate performances. A new CNN poll Sunday showed Walker receiving less than one-half of 1% from Republican and Republican-leaning voters.
Aides were audibly frustrated with the amount of time Walker got during the last debate, and spent an extended period of time in the media "spin room" after the debate attempting to play down the damage to reporters.
In a now-telling sign, former US Sen. Jim Talent (R-Missouri), a campaign adviser, told Business Insider Wednesday that he was unsure if Walker could win the nomination.
"I don't know whether Scott's going to win or not, but I know this thing is not over," Talent said in the media spin room at the debate Wednesday. "The spring and the summer — they're sampling different ones. They're window-shopping."
Walker is the second candidate to drop out of the Republican presidential race, following former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who suspended his campaign earlier this month after he failed to break into the top tier of candidates.
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