Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dropped out of the 2016 presidential race Monday afternoon, calling it a "difficult decision."
Opening his speech citing his admiration for President Ronald Reagan and his optimistic approach to politics, Walker announced that he is suspending his campaign. He then encouraged other candidates in the race to step out so that the party can gather around an alternative to current frontrunner Donald Trump, who he sees as a negative force in the Republican race.
"The Bible is full of stories of people who are called to be in leaders in unusual ways," Walker said. "Today, I believe 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. I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and more importantly to the future of our country."
There are 16 candidates left in the Republican presidential race. According to a recent CNN/ORC poll, Trump is leading at 24 percent with Carly Fiorina coming in second place at 15 percent of respondents' support. Ben Carson closes out the top three at 14 percent. None of the top three Republican frontrunners have previously held a public office. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is in fourth place with 11 percent of support in the poll and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has 9 percent of support.