Rollins steps down in Bachmann campaign shake-up
September 5th, 2011
09:52 PM ET
3 years ago

Rollins steps down in Bachmann campaign shake-up

(CNN) – Michele Bachmann campaign manager Ed Rollins is stepping into an advisory role and deputy manager David Polyansky is leaving the campaign, Rollins said Monday.

Rollins, who’s 68 and had a stroke a year and a half ago, cited health reasons for his decision.

"I just don't have the endurance to go 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week anymore," Rollins told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday.

Rollins said he still has great affection for Bachmann and pledged to give her counsel moving forward.

"At the end of the day, I'm not going away," Rollins said.

Rollins has been with the campaign since early June. The hire was a big get for Bachmann, as Rollins helped former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee spearhead a campaign that eventually won the Iowa caucuses in 2008.

"Ed is moving away from the demanding day-to-day operations of the campaign and into a serious advisor role," press secretary Alice Stewart said in a statement. "He is fantastic and will continue to be invaluable on the campaign."

Late Monday night, Bachmann's team announced Keith Nahigian, current campaign strategist, as the new interim campaign manager.

"Keith has played a vital role in the success we have had to date and I'm confident he can lead us to a strong finish in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and across the country," Bachmann said in a statement.

Politico first reported deputy campaign manager Polyansky’s departure earlier Monday, saying he had "strategic differences" with Bachmann.

When asked about the conflict, Rollins told CNN that there are always differences in a campaign.

"David did a superb job. He ran the straw poll in Iowa," Rollins said. "I think David just decided–because we worked so well together–that he was going out, too."

However, Rollins said Texas Gov. Rick Perry's recent entrance into the race has made a difference in Bachmann's campaign.

"Legitimately, it's a Romney-Perry race," Rollins said. "I think she's the third candidate at this point in time, which is way different and better than we thought when we started this thing. She's very much in this thing."

He said Bachmann's key role in the next couple of weeks will be her performances in the debates.

– CNN's Steve Brusk and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • TV-Anderson Cooper 360
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Weasley

    And the Rats begin to jump...

    September 6, 2011 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  2. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Buh bye rats leaving a sinking ship. How much faith did they have in Bachmann to start with if Rick Bush could run them off? Snooki Palin will REALLY coming after Bachmann's teabagger money and media attention now.

    September 6, 2011 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  3. blftgk

    Rats and sinking ships, man the life boats.

    September 6, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  4. CHUCK

    The rats are leaving a sinking ship.

    September 6, 2011 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  5. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Snooki Palin will execute a full court press for Bachmann's money and press interviews now that the Bachmann campaign has morphed into weak Gingrich,Santorum, Cain and Ron Paul status, thanks to the teabaggers. Wingnut heads explode nationwide as the teabagger wreck continues.

    September 6, 2011 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  6. taylor

    she is finished and good riddance, that is one extremist gone!!!!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2011 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  7. Right Stuff

    Why not limit all campaigning to a period sixty days prior to the election? We hear the Republicans and Democrats talking about wasteful spending, while we see both parties spending "Billions of Dollars" in the pursuit of a job that pays $475,000 a year for the president, and $175,000 for the Capitol Hill Circus. Why not use that money for the good of the American People? Don't worry, I know that nothing will change......nothing.

    September 6, 2011 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  8. Canadian Jim

    Sorry, Ed. Bachmann's "key role" in the weeks ahead is comic relief.

    September 6, 2011 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  9. janedoe

    Bolgna. Rollins speaks on CNN often about Bachman and the tea party folk. I'm sure he thought about the amount of time it would take before he took the job. This is nothing new for him. Please. He knows they are a one sided party and all are having a hard time trying to stand out within their own party, let alone win win. They are all too much alike. Or he's tired of defending the stupid mistakes Bachman has mad from the lame stream media gotcha questions. Come on women up, Rollins.

    Go Donna!!!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2011 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. AlaskaPalin

    At this point. When palin gets in all others will be history. Then in the general; the first lady winning by a landslide. No more crony capitalism. No more abortion. No more homosexual marriage,no more racism, no more of the medias left wing progressive bias. Prosperity and jobs for all!

    September 6, 2011 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  11. ken

    that has always been a complaint against Congresswoman Bachmann. She cannot keep staff for any period of time and that indicates that there is a problem with the Congresswoman if she cannot keep staff. She makes gaffs and sticks to them rather than admit a mistake. Then there is the fact that she is only marginally smarter than Sarah Palin and like all politicians, whenever she moves her lips, she is lying. The only time this woman should be considered for the office of POTUS would be on the day before the end of time and even then for no more than the last 12 hours.

    September 6, 2011 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  12. UncleM

    How can anyone with integrity work to put a woman like Bachmann in the White House?

    September 6, 2011 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  13. Sam

    I had more respect for Ed Rollins until I discovered he is one of her cronies.

    September 6, 2011 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  14. dude

    what ever happened to Ed Rollins? He was once a solid guy,... and now he's been hanging w/ The Nutjob?

    September 6, 2011 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  15. Cfrench

    Mr. Rollins isn't stupid. While he is a far right winger, he's got brains and he can see what Bachman is and that she has no chance to make it past the second or third primary.

    September 6, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  16. zanny

    If I had any part of her campaign, I would run for the hills. Since she has a snowball"s chance in h- of winning, why waste your time and your health.

    September 6, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  17. diridi

    good for him. O.K, CNN, I really do not like this guy, he is so biased. o.k, This dude is not impartial. o.k, He knows how GOP and Tea Thugs messed this nation. We in this nation need to educate the mob. We need strong education. If you have education, you will never vote these GOP and Tea Party idiots. It is all drama they are creating, because they are bent upon their decision to bring down Obama. That's it. We should have have these Regulations 35 years ago, in this nation, but to my surprise, it took so long. These idiots thoroughly know, if folks have education, they never vote to GOP and Tea thugs. They can send these innocent folks to Wars, then give some chunk as a bone to dog, and play drama. America, you need education. God bless. Just vote direct dem ticket. I don't mislead, nor misguide you....An educated.

    September 6, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  18. EddyL

    Plus Bachmann is nuts

    September 6, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  19. Texasmike

    That rattling you hear is not her campaign shaking up, it's the whack a loon ideas in her otherwise empty head. I'm surprised Ed Rollins lasted as long as he did, considering that he tends to lean much more moderate than the scorched earth policies of the far right tea baggers. Maybe he saw a glimmer of electability in her poll numbers, but ultimately she is unelectable as she strays from normal....by a WIDE margin. If you adopt her mindset then you'll have to tear up the Constitution and the flag...as with this bunch, we would wing up with 50 or so little independent countries. Why does this person think that if we eliminate the Dept of Education, she'll continue to be able to enjoy her farm subsidies?

    September 6, 2011 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  20. diridi

    Please do not make in terms of "Business". If so, Corporate world comes and robs. Look, at Books, chemistry book costs 140 dollars, shame, America, shame.....God bless our beautiful kids.....

    September 6, 2011 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  21. proudmemberofglobalzero

    I worry about Mr. Rollins. I know recovery from a stroke can be challenging. I just hope he fully recovers soon. I like Mr. Rollins, I don't agree with his view for our President but I do I wish him well.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 6, 2011 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  22. Geoz

    It will take more than 14 hours a day to get her elected. You'll need some WMD and black ops.

    September 6, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  23. El Kababa

    I don't think Bachman is an advice-taker. I think she is an order-giver. Now, the old pros are bailing out of the plane because they've realized the pilot is insane and the campaign will inevitably crash into a mountain.

    I am mostly concerned about the Konservative Krazees: Bachman, Palin, Paul, and Perry. Those dingbats would do even more damage to the nation – if it is possible – than George W Bush did. Huntsman, Romney, and Gingrich are still Conservative, and therefore evil, but they are at least clinically sane.

    September 6, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  24. Dennis B.

    this is the beginning of the end for Bachmann. Her positions are too extreme for anyone but fanatical tea party members to support. A smart political strategist like Ed Rollins knows this.

    September 6, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  25. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    For shame, Ed, using your health as an excuse to get away from this wing-nut loser you foolishly attached yourself to. How long did it take you to realize that she allowed herself to be fed bum info by her handlers, and if she didn't know about something she would make it up despite the facts.

    September 6, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
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