Reports: Walker donors get skittish, campaign denies staff shakeup plans

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MILWAUKEE -- Gov. Scott Walker's presidential campaign announced no staffing changes Thursday, despite reports of skittish donors after another quiet debate performance.

Walker did nothing to squelch rumors of an imminent shakeup to his campaign staff, repeatedly skirting questions about the topic on Thursday morning cable news shows. Yet following am afternoon conference call with donors, no changes were announced.

Walker instead turned his focus toward reviving his lagging poll numbers in Iowa, where he is scheduled to make campaign stops this weekend. And he blamed CNN moderators for directing only three questions his way during Wednesday's debate.

"We actually had to interrupt. I think I was second only to Carly (Fiorina) in terms of interruptions and, even at that, we only got three questions," Walker told Fox News. "The bottom line is, we tried to use quality over quantity and make the best of that time."

Walker spoke for eight minutes and 29 seconds during the three-hour debate. That was less than any other candidate, according to statistics kept by multiple news outlets.

Scott Walker

Scott Walker

Walker's campaign manager, Rick Wiley, called the moderators' performance "shameful." Walker suggested that the moderators asked more questions of candidates who were attacking fellow Republicans, something Walker largely has not done.

Walker's highlight came early in Wednesday's debate, when he launched a salvo against frontrunner Donald Trump.

"Mr. Trump, we don't need an apprentice in the White House," Walker said. "We have one right now."

Walker criticized Trump for allowing four of his business properties to fall into bankruptcy. Trump said he was using U.S. bankruptcy law as any good businessperson would.

Trump countered that Wisconsin had a $2.2 billion dollar budget deficit under Walker's leadership, which Walker responded was not true.

Wisconsin budget officials recently projected such a shortfall, but it did not become a deficit. In fact, state law requires the budget to be balanced, and the current 2015-2017 budget is.

Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School poll, said Walker was "pushed to the side" during the debate because he got few questions from moderators or mentions from other candidates.

Franklin cautioned against believing that a shakeup of Walker's campaign staff would turn flagging poll numbers around.

"Staff turnover is the easy answer to what ails the campaign," Franklin said. "If it was as easy as changing the staff, every campaign would change the staff and do better."

Mordecai Lee, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor, said Walker has long been his own political consultant and likely would resist calls to fire Wiley.

"I don't think he needs a new campaign manager to tell him how to recalibrate the campaign," Lee said. "You have to tune down the noise, and noise includes skittish supporters."

Walker's conference call with donors comes during a critical fundraising period.

Unintimidated, the pro-Walker super-PAC, has previously reported its fundraising. But the campaign itself, launched in July, will file its much-anticipated first report for the period ending Sept. 30.

1 Comment

  • Z

    His campaign was ovr before it even started. Guess all you Walker supporters need to find someone else to waste your vote on. Hilary and Bernie seem to be the next best bet to throw your vote in the garbage.

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