Scott Walker announced his decision to bow out of the 2016 Republican presidential race at a September 21, 2015 news conference in Madison, Wisconsin, exactly ten weeks after throwing his hat in the ring. The Wisconsin governor entered the primary among the front-runners and quickly lost support following poor showings in the first two Republican primary debates.
Walker said, "Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately." He added, "I did the best I could."
Scott Walker was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but moved with his family at the age of 3 to Iowa, then to Wisconsin when he was 10. He has been interested and involved in politics since at least his time attending Marquette University, where he was elected as a student senator within a few weeks of beginning his studies. When the responsibility of investigating a scandal in student government fell to him, he concluded with a recommendation to impeach those accused of wrongdoing, making enemies who continue to campaign against him to this day. Later, he ran for student president, but was defeated in a close vote after an intense race. Shortly after being found guilty of having started his campaign a week before school rules allowed, Walker left Marquette University, but has stated that his decision was motivated by the Red Cross' offer of a full-time job. Whatever the reason, Walker was finished with school, and ended his academic career without obtaining a college degree.
Walker's love of politics continued. After being sworn in as Governor of the Badger State in 2010, very few would have envisaged the path that the preacher’s son decided to take. Instead of basking in the glow of the honeymoon period, as so often seen during the first year of a governorship, Gov. Walker took on quite possibly one of the most powerful adversaries of any politician, the union, and in the process, became one of the superstars of the Republican Party.
Gov. Walker gave a full display of his reputation as a tight-fisted fiscal conservative, earned during his eight years as Milwaukee County Executive, by attempting to erase the state’s forecasted $3.6 billion two-year budget shortfall by reforming and curbing the collective bargaining powers of public unions, which in his opinion, was too powerful to the point of being detrimental to Wisconsin’s economic well-being.
The decision, and the subsequent passing of the 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 and 32, sparked off a wave of protest that led to the largest number of legislative recall elections in American history, including that of Gov. Walker himself.
He is also staunchly conservative on social issues, having opposed gay marriage in Wisconsin and maintaining a pro-life platform on abortion. Walker has even dodged questions regarding his belief in evolution, first avoiding them altogether, and only later clarifying that while he believes that God created humans, science and his faith “aren't incompatible.”
For a brief moment in 2012, he became, in the eyes of many, the leader of the Republican Party. Digging his heels, and aided by an incredible $30 million war chest, the former IBM warranty salesman weathered the Democratic storm and won the recall election by a 6.8% margin, a full point higher compared to his victory in 2010.
Scott Walker declared his 2016 presidential candidacy on Monday, July 13, via a video announcement on his website and a rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Scott Walker's Presidential Campaign Announcement - Full Speech