Entries in Ed Rollins (3)


Former Campaign Head: Bachmann ‘Out of Money and Ideas’ in Iowa

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Michele Bachmann has “run out of money and ideas” and can no longer expect to win in Iowa, her former campaign manager told ABC News on Monday.

Ed Rollins, who left the campaign in September, said the Minnesota congresswoman had backed off earlier comments by her campaign that Iowa was a “must-win” state because she lacked the finances, campaign structure and ideas to win the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

He said, “She’s still saying the same things she said in the first the debate. There’s no substance. She says, ‘I’m going to repeal Obamacare.’ But she’s been saying that from Day 1. I told her: That’s your Tea Party speech, now you have to say what you’re going to do next.”

In an interview Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Bachmann refused to say whether Iowa was a “must-win” state as her current campaign manager, Keith Nahigian, had said. Nahigian took over after Rollins left.

“Of course, we’re focused on Iowa. We’re focused on the schedule and the primary process. Iowa is the first caucus. Then on to New Hampshire. And after that, the first in the South, which will be South Carolina. So we’re focused on the schedule that the states are now agreeing on, and that’s our order,” Bachmann said.

“But is it a must-win for you,” anchor Christiane Amanpour asked.

“Well, we’re focused on it as we are all on the states,” Bachmann responded.

That’s a less full-throated commitment than Nahigian made last month.

“She has to win Iowa and move on from there,” Nahigian said in a Web video in September that featured a graphic calling Iowa a “must-win state.”

Bachmann has seen her poll numbers plummet since she won the Ames, Iowa, straw poll in August. In a recent Des Moines Register poll, the Minnesota congresswoman was polling in fourth place.

Rollins said he left the campaign because he didn’t want to spend an Iowa winter “fighting with a candidate who wouldn’t listen and had no money.” The campaign should focus solely on Iowa, he told her, but he says she wanted to campaign early on in New Hampshire, Florida and South Carolina.

There’s been no love lost between Rollins and Bachmann in the weeks since he left the campaign. They’ve traded barbs in the media. Bachmann recently joked that she wished she had Googled Rollins before hiring him.

But Rollins, who took former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to victory in Iowa in 2008, said Bachmann approached him three four times for the job.

Bachmann on Monday took new steps to strengthen her ground game in Iowa, announcing the names of 64 “grassroots activists” who will be working the state’s southeast.

“The caucuses are won precinct-by-precinct, with neighbors talking to neighbors, friends talking to friends. These supporters, like others around the state, are already working hard on Michele Bachmann’s behalf to bring home a victory,” said state Sen. Kent Sorenson, Bachmann’s state chairman, in a statement released by the campaign. “Southeast Iowa proved to be an important region in the 2008 caucuses and the same will be true in 2012.”

The Bachmann campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Rollins’ remarks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bachmann’s Former Campaign Manager Becoming Her Chief Critic

Stephen Morton/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ed Rollins was running Rep. Michele Bachmann’s GOP campaign two weeks ago, but today it’s hard to find anyone doing more harm to her presidential hopes.

When Rollins gave up his post as campaign manager on Labor Day, a campaign spokesman blamed his move on health concerns and noted that he would continue working for her as “a valuable senior adviser.”

But in the two weeks since then, Rollins seems to be delivering a lot more verbal barbs than “valuable advice.”

He told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Monday that the Minnesota congresswoman lacks the “ability or the resources” to stay in the race longer than the Iowa caucuses, scheduled for February 2012 as the first leg of the nomination process.

He ripped Bachmann last week for suggesting that the HPV vaccine Gardasil — mandated by Texas Gov. Rick Perry in an effort to prevent cervical cancer (and overturned by the state legislature) — could cause mental retardation, a claim widely refuted by medical experts. Rollins told MSNBC’s Hardball that “the quicker she admits she made a mistake, the better.”

Rollins was already hitting out at his former boss even the same day he left Bachmann’s campaign.
“Legitimately, it’s a Romney-Perry race,” he said Sept. 5 on CNN.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise then that Rollins now says he has virtually no involvement with Bachmann’s campaign. In an interview four days ago on CNN, John King asked Rollins to rate his involvement with the Bachmann campaign on a scale of 1 to 10, with “one” being not involved and “10″ being very involved.

Rollins’ response? “Two or three.”

Ultimately, it’s nothing new for Rollins to rip his former bosses. He also went on public rants against Mike Huckabee when the former Arkansas governor decided not to run for president. But this instance is far more damaging because Bachmann is an actual candidate.

While Rollins is the most prominent and vocal critic of Bachmann these days, he is hardly the only former staffer of hers who is now speaking out. At least one other former Bachmann chief of staff — Ron Carey — has said unkind things on TV and in newspaper interviews about his former boss. And with Bachmann notorious for a high turnover rate as a boss, namely in her congressional office, more critics might soon emerge.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bachmann Taps Ed Rollins to Run Presidential Campaign

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Experienced Republican operative Ed Rollins will play a key role, likely that of campaign manager, when Rep. Michele Bachmann announces her bid for the White House later this month, he told ABC News.

“I have talked to her about how you put a campaign together,” Rollins said. “If she chooses to run, I’ll certainly be involved.”

Rollins said that because Bachmann has not yet made her presidential bid official, there are “no titles decided at this point in time,” but added, “as the oldest person in the room, it’s safe to say, I’d be in charge.”

Rollins said he just returned from a two-week vacation and he was “trying to get his hands around” what it will take to put together a campaign organization for the Minnesota congresswoman and Tea Party favorite.

He also said he wanted to avoid some of the “stumbles” of other candidates in their initial campaign launches. Bachmann, he said, would be a “first-rate candidate, she deserves a great launch.”

Rollins, an experienced campaign manager, ran former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s national bid in 2008 and helped Ronald Reagan win in the White House in 1984.

Rollins helped Huckabee win the 2008 Iowa caucus, the state where pundits think the socially conservative Bachmann has the best chance of victory.

Bachmann is expected to make her candidacy official later this month in Waterloo, Iowa, the town where she was born.

Though still undeclared, Bachmann is assembling a team of experienced campaign advisors. Last week her trusted chief of staff Andy Parrish took a leave of absence from her congressional office, a signal that he would work on her campaign.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio