Rollins steps down in Bachmann campaign shake-up
September 5th, 2011
09:52 PM ET
11 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. Annie, Atlanta

    Are these guys finally seeing the crazy that the rest of us saw from the get-go? The fact that this woman was ever considered presidential material doesn't speak well for where we're heading.

    September 6, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. The Interpreter

    "I just don't have the endurance to go 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week anymore" is code for "Governor Perry, do you have room on your team for me, too???"

    September 6, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Shannon

    I wondered how long he could work for this crazed woman, he seems much to normal to be associated with this lunatic, phony christian.

    September 6, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Jaywing

    Headline of the Day: Leaking Steamship "MS BACHMANN" hits Rocks of Reality. 1st mate and entire engineering crew abandons ship after discovering Captain praying that rocks magically convert to syrofoam and that gapping holes be healed with money from the sale of rotting teabags!

    September 6, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Mr. Diplomacy

    Did a couple of people running campaign discover how ill prepared she is to occupy the Oval Office?

    September 6, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Linda

    How he could have worked for her in the first place is beyond me -she is a reactionary liar- she is anti woman rights, anti worker rights, anti gay rights, and I am sure, anti minority rights yest Americans vote for her? It is a sad day in our great nation when someone as vile and ignorant of reality or of how life and government work could get one vote. God Bless us – Romney got his millions by putting Americans out of work and now he is bringing Reagan, whose economic ideas NEVER worked except for the very wealthy, back to life as a solution. The solution is tax the wealthy and make oil companies and corporations pay their taxes! His party gave us two wars and left their price tag out of the budget – when Obama does the right thing and puts them back in – then all of a sudden, the only solution is to cut every great program that ever helped working, poor, children and seniors. I think these guys are pure evil! Is he still a journalist? He should not be anymore as he has shown his lack of intelligence and modern understanding by working for this nitwit.

    September 6, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. andyoo

    It's not like you just found out you are 60+ years old.
    If you can't handle it, why the hell do you take the job for campaign manager?
    you think it's a 2 week pay vacation?

    September 6, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Cedar Rapids

    'dcol – Cedar Rapids – Palin is a quiter and out for herself and where she can make the most money. Has good speeches telling you just what you want to hear. Get you head out of the sand and let her actions speak for themselves. She'd most likely quit the presidency claiming it was a hardship on her family and start a new reality TV show.'

    Psst, dcol, read my post again. Notice I put quote marks around AlaskaPalin's post, and my repy was under it.

    September 6, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Fixer2010

    Ms. Bachmann - could you be so kind as to follow Rollins lead? Step down. Leave and don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you. Thanks.

    September 6, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Den

    What we really need to hear is that she quit. She won the straw poll. That is really funny.

    September 6, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Elvira

    She stepped on Elvis's blue-suede legend by flubbing his birthday. Why doesn't she quit? Then she'd be like Palin, quitter both.

    September 6, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Robin Bray

    He found out that the Constitution does not contain wording for a GOP Tea Party and that like The Department of Education, Bachmann will be getting rid of it also. Also the CDC, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation....

    September 6, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Joe

    If her goal is to win the Iowa caucuses and then drop out of sight, she's got the right man working for her;-)

    September 6, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Lolo

    @AlaskaPalin, I hope she does win the nomination for your sake. You sound like you will have a hissy fit if she does not., however you will really have a fit after she is rebuked for the presidency. You must be an airhead like your girl Sarah. What part do you not understand? No one wants this hillbilly for president. My 5 year old granddaughter has more sense than this moron Sarah" Greedy Racist" Palin

    September 6, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. chuck d

    Why he quit
    1) He was freaked out be her Crazy eyes
    2) he was tired of her and her husband saying he "cured gay people"

    September 6, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Jbyrd

    Elvis has left the building...

    September 6, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. svann

    Im guessing Perry/Bachman will be the ticket.

    September 6, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |

    The only group Bachmann had was the Tea Baggers and now she only has 8% of them. the handwriting is on the walls, and floors and ceilings. Run Ed run, save your good name while you still have it. Don't let the crazy lady drag you all the way down. The only problem Ed had was he couldn't keep the crazy lady from saying crazy things. It's damn hard to keep coming up with, "What she really meant was................"

    September 6, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Spendlove

    What does Rollins think about two dollar gas?

    September 6, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. GaryOwen27

    Typical Red Neck Right quitter mentality.

    September 6, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Michael in Houston

    She will be out of money by end of year and her "look at me " tour will finally be over. And heres a newsflash you idiots who support her......."WE DONT LIKE HER". And when you bring out Palin for her "look at me 2" tour we are going to run her off as well. Geez, I wish you would stop rolling out these freaks

    September 6, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. RSVP

    Thank you Mr. Rollins. I am glad that you and David had the brains to leave now. The reason that you state why you are leaving I don't believe but I also don't care. All I know is that I hope one by one Ms. Bachman makes enough gaffes and falls flat on her face during the debates that she is left with maybe 1/2% of the Tea Party votes.

    She is a illiterate and crazy. You can't run on just those two platforms. Glad you finally got it.

    September 6, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    He is probably afraid if he had to put up with that nitwit any longer, he would have another stroke.

    September 6, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. Frank

    The clown car has lots of clown candidates in it, but anyone with a smidge of actual campaign talent does not last long in the ideological anti-science clown car!

    September 6, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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