In announcing that he was suspending his campaign, Walker said he felt called to drop out for the betterment of the GOP and he urged other Republicans to follow his lead.
“I believe the voters want to be for something and not against someone,” Walker said.
He said the party needs to rally around a “positive alternative to the current front-runner” — a clear nod to to New York billionaire and reality television star Donald Trump, who leads the polls despite controversial remarks and personal insults lobbed at his opponents. Walker didn’t name a candidate that he thought should take on that role or who should leave the race.
Jindal, during an afternoon radio appearance, reacted to the breaking news that Walker was leaving the race.
“Scott’s a friend. I’ve gone to Wisconsin to campaign for him multiple times … He’s been a great governor in that state,” Jindal said. “I’ve got nothing but respect for him, and I consider him a friend.”
His campaign later tweeted a similar sentiment.
Jindal’s campaign has sent signals recently that he’s not ready to leave the race, despite low polling nationally. Last week, he qualifiedfor the Feb. 20 South Carolina primary, paying $40,000 to get his name on the ballot. He also held a fundraiser in New Orleans that netted $350,000.
The pro-Jindal Believe Again political action committee has lined up events in Iowa through that state’s Feb. 1 caucuses.
Jindal campaign manager Timmy Teepell participated in a discussion with National Review Online on Monday, in which he outlined Jindal’s slow-burning strategy.
“Our strategy is an early state strategy; it’s Iowa,” he said, noting that Jindal’s favorability has gone up as he has spent more time there.