A digital strategist to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker resigned Tuesday night following an outcry over remarks on social media that seemed to disparage the Iowa caucuses.
Republican consultant Liz Mair had joined Walker’s political action committee, Our American Revival, ahead of the governor’s all-but-certain presidential run. Her departure came just one day after her hire was first reported.
“The tone of some of my tweets concerning Iowa was at odds with that which Gov. Walker has always encouraged in political discourse,” Mair said in a statement. “I wish Gov. Walker and his team all the best.”
Mair’s months-old comments, which surfaced Monday in the hours after her hire was first reported, put Walker’s campaign-in-waiting in a tough spot as outraged Iowa Republicans immediately called for her ouster.
“In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys,” Mair wrote in one January tweet. In another, she suggested that Iowa should lose its role as the first-in-the-nation nominating state. “The sooner we remove Iowa’s frontrunning status, the better off American politics and policy will be,” she wrote.
Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann fired back Tuesday, calling on Walker to fire Mair.
“It’s obvious she doesn’t have a clue what Iowa’s all about,” Kaufmann told the New York Times. “I find her to be shallow and ignorant. . . . [A]nd I’ll tell you, if I was Gov. Walker, I’d send her her walking papers.”
On Wednesday, after stepping down from Walker’s team, Mair took to Twitter to defend her comments.
“Now that I’m off payroll, there are a couple things I’d like to say. . . . I was not calling Iowans morons. And if you read the tweet, and look at the online discussion around the time it was made, that’s obvious,” she wrote.
Mair was the latest in a string of digital campaign strategists finding themselves in hot water — and often, out of a job — over comments made on their own social media accounts. Last month, former Florida governor Jeb Bush parted ways with his chief technology officer, Ethan Czahor, after inflammatory Twitter comments about women, alcohol abuse, gays and celebrities surfaced shortly after his hire was announced.
Walker has emerged as a top-tier challenger for the GOP nomination in recent months. But a CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday had mixed news for the presidential hopeful: 48 percent of primary voters polled said they do not know who he is, compared with just 14 percent who do not recognize Bush’s name.