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.

Watch Anderson Cooper 360° weeknights 10pm ET. For the latest from AC360° click here.


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

    This is the beginning of the end for Madam Michelle

    September 6, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. Thomas

    Proactive rats have dry feet.

    September 6, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  3. fmac

    it took him awile but he knows she is a loser, if he thought she could win he would be still working for her, his health reason is the easy way out.

    September 6, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  4. ConservaFASCISTS/TeaHadists/Tea Queda/TeaLiban

    Ed probably is faking it. He knows just as everyone else knows that Bachmann is an idiot. Her stupidity probably forced him to quit.

    September 6, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  5. jokerster

    Change all you want, I won't vote for any Tea Party candidate....besides Bachmann sounds like a wound up robot, doesn't answer the questions correctly and says the same thing over and over....

    September 6, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  6. Katy

    Rollins just couldn't bear Bachmann any longer. He did quite well for her, moderating some of her previously out spoken ideas, but in the end he just couldn't deal with her or her nut job hubby.

    September 6, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  7. andrewstl

    and he realized how bat s?&% she really is
    also her husband made it mandatory to get a reach around on casual friday.

    that was the last straw

    September 6, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  8. pd123

    "He said Bachmann's key role in the next couple of weeks will be her performances in the debates." – Well if that's the case, she's out, Perry will be the next out unless this country is completely brain washed.

    September 6, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  9. sortakinda

    Harry Truman said something like: "If you can't stand the stupidity, resign as Bachmann's campaign manager."

    September 6, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  10. bb

    Rollins had tired ideology anyway. And when you think about it – who in their right mind would even attempt to promote Michele Bachmann for the office of the presidency. She is a lunatic and it is common knowledge.

    September 6, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  11. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    I guess Rollins got tried of "paling" around with Bachmann.

    September 6, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  12. Marco

    Puh-leeze!!! He's leaving because he's tired of being laughed at.

    September 6, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  13. bb

    Well, you promote a loon and you usually wind up looking like one yourself, Ed. It's beyond me why you supported that ridiculous excuse for a candidate in the first place.

    September 6, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  14. A True Centrist

    Sorry Ms. Bachmann...your 15 minutes are up. Time to move on to the more qualified candidates.

    September 6, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  15. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    It is difficult, working for a lunatic. They won't take your advice, they make preposterous statements that have no basis in fact, they deny they said something even as the video showing them saying it plays before their very eyes and they cannot distinguish between fact and fantasy. Their hearing is super-selective–they can hear the whisper of one supporter over the shouts of a thousand detractors.

    Bachmann doesn't stand a chance of getting the nomination, she never did, her equally nutty group of followers notwithstanding.

    September 6, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  16. John

    They all know that Michele Bachmann doesn't have a chance to win ,so they are all jumping ship. Can't say I blame them, this woman a nut case.

    September 6, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  17. ironside

    He is probably embarrassed at what he was doing. At least he sees the light. No teabags in front of his eyes.

    September 6, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Did God tell him to quit or did Bachmann pray away the gay? Funny how Republicans idolize quitters!

    September 6, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  19. AntiFringe

    Just keep contributing. That's what it's all about.

    September 6, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  20. Nick

    Now Perry just has to quit, Obama has to dissolve the House and Senate, and we'll have Emperor It's Cool, I Got This!

    September 6, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. Rosslaw

    Rollins ran the successful 1984 campaign for Ronald Reagan where he worked exclusively with adults and professionals, pushing the famously positive "morning in America" message. Now he works with a batsh*t crazy dim bulb who literally rose through the Minnesotta political ranks going after gays-and nothing else-with her gay husband channeling "god" for her. And she truly is indifferent to the reality, or lack thereof, of anything she says or does. Unfortunately, this detachment from events on this planet do not cost her any votes among her "base"

    September 6, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. Buster Bloodvessel

    "They all look good when they're far away." – Rube Goldberg Bachmann even looks insane from far away.

    September 6, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. NoTags

    Rollins probably realized that to continue working with Bachmann would give him another stroke. One can only deal with a certain amount of craziness in their life.

    September 6, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. James

    I can't wait for her to be in a debate. I sure hope $2 gas, Elvis's birthday,and why she doesn't want our children to get a decent education come up. This my be the first presidential debate I've watched in decades. Reality TV at its best.

    September 6, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. chuck

    I agree he is embarrassed by her and the absurd comments she makes-the rats are jumping ship. We have the same issue in WI with outr corrupt GOVERNOR Teabaggin WALKER> His staff is one by one jumping ship- The teabaggers time has peaked and is on the way out, slowly.,.but its over.

    September 6, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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