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The Sometimes Very Socially Conservative Scott Walker Calls It Quits

The Sometimes Very Socially Conservative Scott Walker Calls It Quits

Scott Walker

Walker's campaign started out looking moderate, moved to the right, then folded.

lucasgrindley

Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor who tried looking socially moderate even while appealing to conservatives in Iowa, is dropping out of the race for president, multiple reports say.

Walker alternately tried to portray himself as a middle-of-the-road Republican while also putting all of his eggs in the Iowa basket -- a phrase the candidate once bluntly used himself. On gay rights, for example, he tried to paint himself as a conservative in a less conservative family.

Back in July, just as the campaign began and Walker was faring better in polls, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum called out Walker's wife, Tonette, for saying she's "torn" on the issue of same-sex marriage. His wife had told TheWashington Post she has "children who are very passionate" about same-sex marriage. "It's hard for me because I have a cousin who I love dearly -- she is like a sister to me -- who is married to a woman, her partner of 18 years."

When all of the candidates were being asked whether they'd ever attend the wedding of a same-sex couple, Walker let the media know he'd skipped that cousin's wedding but attended the reception.

TheDaily Beastnoted back in June that Walker seemed to be undergoing an "antigay transition." The governor's rhetoric after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality was amped up in that direction, even calling for a constitutional amendment when other moderate candidates were saying the issue was settled. However, instead of calling for an amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriage nationwide, as some conservatives have, he proposed an amendment that would let states decide.

Still, it wasn't his views on LGBT people that appear to have doomed the campaign. Booned by early leads in the polls, Walker was reportedly spending money quickly, and it's possible he just burned through it, pundits already speculate.

But it is only speculation at this point. Front-runner Donald Trump offered his own theory during the last Republican debate. Trump said Walker was falling behind in polls because Iowans had learned the truth about economic failurse in Wisconsin. Iowa, whose caucus opens the primary season, is a key state for candidates in both parties.

Still, here's how The Advocatereported Walker's entrance into the race in July, outlining a short list of antigay accomplishments that Walker racked up while governor:

"As governor, Walker supported the state's constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, opposed hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples, and repealed a bill that protected state workers from job discrimination based on sex. As Milwaukee County eExecutive, Walker proposed ending HIV/AIDS prevention programs, claiming that tackling the disease should not be 'a core function of the county' and vetoed a bill that would have given workers domestic partner benefits.

"After a court ruled same-sex marriage legal in Wisconsin, the candidate supported appeal efforts, but has backpedaled dramatically in recent months, declaring the fight for marriage equality 'over.' In 2013 he told Meet the Press host David Gregory, 'When I talk about things, I talk about the economic and fiscal crises in our state and in our country, that's what people want to resonate about. They don't want to get focused on those issues.'"

lucasgrindley
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Lucas Grindley

Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.
Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.