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. Larry L

    I actually wondered how long he'd be able to pretend he had a real candidate. You can work really hard for ideology, even the right-wing and radical version Rollins promotes, but how long can you work for a raving idiot?

    September 5, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. Malcolm in St Louis

    the rats are quitting the ship.

    September 5, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    Hard-headed Bachmann – She is going Rogue!!! What a pity!!

    September 5, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Just a little too crazy for ya, Ed and Dave?

    September 5, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  5. TM

    If THIRD place is "better than you thought" you would do, it's time to admit that your campaign is OVER.

    September 5, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  6. PhilG.

    The problem is that Ed Rollins has'nt been able to catch his breath since Michele Bachmann gave a Happy Birthday to Elvis on the day Elvis actually DIED.

    He's been laughing too much and can't stop.

    His doctor said for his own health-he had to get away from Bachmann so he could forget about it and stop laughing.

    The disease is actually called MicheleaBachmannicanumosis.

    September 5, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  7. G

    Ed Rollins has been in politics for years and signed on board with the Bachmann campaign fully aware of the physical demands of being campaign manager. Chronic health problems has nothing to do with him stepping down as campaign manager. Rollins is jumping ship with all the other rats because he knows that it has a hole in it, and it is sinking fast!

    September 5, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. TEW

    Ed recognizes a sinking ship. Funny how he displayes a sense of vigor and zeal when giving right leaning perspectives on the cable television networks but suddenly seems to be depleated of energy and vibrance when the queen of ignorace falls quickly in the GOP polls.

    September 5, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  9. Mike

    I used to have some respect for Ed, now I know he is only doing the job for money as I know he knows MB is a moron.

    September 5, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  10. independent

    I still can't believe that a man as intelligent as Ed Rollins could support this unpatriotic, fear-mongering blowhard.

    September 5, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Dave

    Don't think it will matter that much... Bachmann is on her way out. She'll probably be in line for a vp prospect though, which is also what I'm suspecting that Palin is privately stumping to do all along since she knows she cannot win the GOP nomination.

    September 5, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. labman57

    Seafaring craft takes on water, rodents seek refuge elsewhere.

    September 5, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  13. Name Sean

    When you listen to Mrs. Bachmann speak it quickly becomes clear that she is not a very intelligent woman. She also appears to know very little to nothing on foreign matters. The GOP has allowed Mrs Bachmann and Mrs.Palin to hijack the republican party and will regret it when President Obama is easily reelected.

    September 5, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  14. Herbie Walker

    "A one straw poll candidate!"

    Go away, Ms. B, and back to the government assistance you decry.

    September 5, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. mesamick

    You can stick a fork in her for real now...She's done....

    September 5, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He knows that she isn't going to win over Perry since he has much more appeal over the tea people. I am sorry to hear that he wasn't and isn't feeling 100%. He sounds fairly good for having a stroke over 18 months ago.

    September 5, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  17. Victoria

    Seafaring craft takes on water, rodents seek refuge elsewhere.

    September 5, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. thomas

    "Ed is moving away from the demanding day-to-day operations of the campaign and into a serious advisor role,"

    Seriously , how do you advise a doornail ?

    Bachmann introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act,, Wow what a leader !

    Poor Ed, life is hard , sounds like he could use a McDonald's Happy Meal !

    September 5, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  19. A Real Patriot

    Once Again America-If you vote Teabagger you vote Chaos...Really nice Presidential credentials huh? Bachmann sheds advisors and staffers like a lizard (good comparison) sheds skins.....

    This is their view of leadership for America folks-fair and balanced-you decide...


    September 5, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  20. The Elephant in The Room

    This is a recurring theme with Ms. Bachmann. She chewed thru many staff chiefs in her brief 4-year Congressional Office history.

    "Dave had had enough of Michele`s lunacy & Ed Rollins was not about to let Ms. Bachmann give him a 2nd stroke.

    Either that or the paychecks stopped clearing.

    September 5, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  21. Davis Todd

    The only shakeup the Bachmann campaign needs is the replacement of the candidate.

    September 5, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  22. roro

    Mr. Rollins has finally woken up. She's as dumb as a sack of doorknobs, and now even he knows it.

    September 5, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  23. joe the rocker scientist

    Run Rollins run....and don't look back.

    September 5, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  24. Joe

    The key is her (Bachmann's) donations are drying up, she started too early, only millionaires can start early like Mitt. She is done, because she s broke in a year when money is hard to get.

    I think Palin is really the smart one, not jumping in too early to burn cash up before anyone is really paying attention o candidates.

    September 5, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  25. Mark1

    The person who should leave the Bachmann camp is Bachmann.

    September 5, 2011 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
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