Trump Exaggerating His Net Worth (By 100%) In Presidential Bid

howCampaign exaggerations are as much a part of politics as kissing babies. In announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination this morning, Donald Trump started with what Forbes believes is a whopper. He claimed his net worth was nearly $9 billion. We figure it’s closer to $4 billion — $4.1 billion to be exact.
This discrepancy is noteworthy, since Trump’s financial success – he put his fortune at exactly $8,737,540,000 — is core to his candidacy. “I’m proud of my net worth. I’ve done an amazing job,” said Trump at his circus-like announcement, before referencing his autobiography. “We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.”
Since 1982, Forbes has been tracking Trump’s net worth in great detail. That’s more than thirty years. Over those decades, we have worked both with him and outside experts who can help us come up with a fair market valuation of his assets. Every year, Trump shares a lot of information with us that helps us get to the figures we publish. But he also consistently pushes for a higher net worth—especially when it comes to the value of his personal brand.
There is  no doubt that Trump is a billionaire and a savvy deal-maker. He turned his father’s construction company into the massive empire it is today. He is also a survivor: having gone through a corporate bankruptcy that, according to our research left his personal net worth in the red in the 1990s, Trump clawed himself back to enormous wealth. (Though let’s be clear: Trump entities have filed four times for corporate bankruptcy, all related to Atlantic City casino property that he today has a 10% stake in. He has never filed for personal bankruptcy. As Forbes‘ Clare O’Connor explains, only during the first corporate bankruptcy was his personal fortune at risk.) He owns trophy New York properties like 40 Wall Street, Trump Tower, as well as his Doral golf resort in Miami. His brand keeps growing, too, with Apprentice appearances, books, speaking engagements, Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants and menswear at Macy's M +0.00%.
Below we break down what Trump says he is worth v. what we at Forbes estimate he is truly worth. The major difference: his brand. Trump claims that his brand and brand-related deals are worth some $3.3 billion. We value his brand at just $125 million; we give him another $128 million in management fees for Trump-branded hotels. Another major discrepancy is golf courses: Trump has been advocating for a valuation for his chain of American golf courses as high as $800 million. Independent valuation experts tell us our figure of $200 million is much closer to the mark. The other difference is properties under development. Trump claims nearly $300 million here; we don’t give properties full build-out value until they’re actually fully built and running.
Cash & Marketable Securities: $302.3 million (Trump); $302.3 million (Forbes)
Forbes agrees. We’ve seen the bank statements.
Commercial Properties 100% owned by Trump: $1.38 billion (Trump); $1.3 billion (Forbes)
Trump claims $1.697 billion in assets – $312.63 million in debt = $1.38 billion
Forbes values (net of debt):
Trump Tower, 725 Fifth Avenue, NYC: $470 million
40 Wall Street: $475 million
Niketown Store, 6 E 57th St., NYC: $285 million
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Central Park West and South: $53 million
Residential Properties 100% owned by Trump: $315.2 million (Trump); $410 million (Forbes)
Trump claims $334.6 million – $19.42 million in debt = $315.2 million
Forbes values (net of debt):
Trump Park Avenue, 502 Park Ave., NYC: $240 million
Trump World Tower/ UN Building, 845 United Nations Plaza: $10 million
Trump Parc East, 100 Central Park Avenue South: $30 million
Trump Plaza, 3rd Ave.: $16 million
Trump’s penthouse: $90 million
Club facilities and related real estate: $1.86 billion (Trump); $866 million (Forbes) 
Trump claims $2.009 billion in assets – $146.47 million in debt = $1.86 billion
Forbes values (net of debt):
Doral, Miami: $300 million
Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach: $290 million
Additional golf courses in the U.S. $200 million
Golf courses in Scotland and Ireland: $75 million
Properties under development: $293 million (Trump); $0 (Forbes)
Trump claims $300 million in assets and $7.14 million in liabilities. This is not a piece of the portfolio that we’ve valued. We’re looking forward to seeing the documentation and doing our own assessment.
Properties owned less than 100% by Trump: $943.1 million (Trump); $940 million (Forbes)
1290 Ave. of Americas (Bank of America BAC +0.00% Center), NYC: $695 million
555 California Street, San Francisco: $160 million
Trump Las Vegas: $87 million
Starrett City, Bklyn, NY: 0
Real estate licensing deals, brand, and branded developments: $3.3 billion (Trump); $253 million (Forbes)
We value the Trump brand at $125 million. Trump apparently thinks that if he spun-out these kind of deals and his good name into a separate company, he’d net over $3 billion for it. Good luck with that.
We do give Trump another $128 million for management contracts for running his Trump-branded hotels.
Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Pageants: $14.8 million (Trump); $0 (Forbes)
We find these of negligible value compared with his other assets, and Trump seems to agree.
Other Assets (net of debt): $317.4 million (Trump); $88.5 million (Forbes)
D.C. Post Office hotel project: $14 million
Helicopters, Airplanes: $50 million
Kluge Winery: $17 million (We’ll likely be revising this up)
SOURCE

Donald Trump’s big vulnerability has surfaced

donaldHe might not flame out the way establishment pundits predict, but Donald Trump isn’t invulnerable either—and his weaknesses are beginning to appear.
Trump has obviously surprised everybody (but himself) by surging to the head of the polls despite jarring statements about Mexican rapists, our stupid political leaders and Carly Fiorina’s face. Trump’s undoing, however, might be hiding in plain sight—the four corporate bankruptcies his companies have declared.
Trump says these Chapter 11 filings are nothing more than a shrewd businessman using “the laws of this country” to his advantage. It’s true that bankruptcy is considered a legitimate way to restructure a troubled company and give it a second chance, instead of just liquidating it. But it’s also a last-resort option when all else has failed, and it is hardly a mark of success.
More importantly, there’s not really a Chapter 11 equivalent when it comes to government, especially the federal government. While a few municipalities and one metropolis—Detroit—have declared bankruptcy, it has hardly been a benign fresh start. Those bankruptcies have generally come at the end of a brutal process of cutting services, salaries and pensions, and raising fees and taxes, that often sends residents fleeing elsewhere. Detroit might be showing signs of life, but its population has plummeted and it’s a shell of the city it used to be.
Trump constantly touts his business experience as his greatest strength. “I want to put whatever that talent is to work for this country,” he said in the recent CNN debate, “so we have great trade deals, we make our country rich again, we make it great again.”
Two of his rivals, Scott Walker and Carly Fiorina, pointed out that part of Trump’s talent is expert use of the bankruptcy code. “You took four major projects into bankruptcy,” Walker said to Trump. “You can’t take America into bankruptcy.” That sound bite may have taken Walker and his staff weeks to come up with, but it neatly summarizes the problem many business leaders face when they try to enter politics: What works in business doesn’t always work in government.
Here’s the basic story on Trump’s four bankruptcies: All four were corporate bankruptcies involving properties in Atlantic City, the East Coast gambling hub that dwindled as many nearby states legalized gambling, eliminating the city’s monopoly. All four of those bankruptcies allowed the casino in question to shed debt and stay in business, instead of folding. Trump’s lenders and investors lost a lot of money, yet Trump was still able to keep raising money in the financial markets, a sign of his allure as a business partner and his ability to sell himself.
Trump has never declared personal bankruptcy, as he frequently points out. But his first corporate Chapter 11 filing, involving the Trump Taj Mahal in 1991, put Trump in a tight spot and forced him to sell his Trump Princess yacht, his Trump Shuttle airline and other prized assets. Plus, it cost him a lot of pride. So Trump has certainly felt the sting of losing, even if he didn’t go as far as a personal bankruptcy filing.
Has any of this prepared Trump for the challenges of the presidency? It’s hard to tell, but he didn’t  declare bankruptcy once and vow never to go through that again, as many recovered bankruptistas  seared by the experience have done. His bankruptcies occurred in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009—an 18-year span. As Forbes points out, Trump’s personal stake in the business declined each time, as he learned to put other people’s money behind his own name and spread the pain around, if it came.
It’s hard to see how this tactic might work in government, and it may generate the type of hubris (Trump? Hubris?) that leads smart people to think they can conquer the laws of nature and fly where others have crashed. The federal government can’t declare bankruptcy or anything like it without sending the world economy into a disastrous tailspin. Congressional Republicans tried a mini version of that by threatening a default on U.S. debt in 2011, and it backfired so badly that the stock market tanked for 6 months and their worst foe, President Obama, tap-danced to reelection.
Other than a brief flutter by Scott Walker, none of Trump’s other Republican rivals have hit him hard about being a serial bankruptcy declarer. If they’re tired of waiting for Trump to self-destruct, then bankruptcy is Trump’s Achilles heel. He considers it a routine and even prudent aspect of operating a business. It’s not, and it has ugly ramifications even under favorable circumstances.
Die-hard Trumpers will stick with their man no matter what. But Trump’s bombast will wear thin amid Republicans on the fence as they learn more about his bailouts and question whether that’s a model for government. Trump is such a good salesman that he’s made bankruptcy—the art of the fail—seem like a sound business strategy. He’s turning out to be a gifted politician, after all.
Rick Newman’s latest book is Liberty for All: A Manifesto for Reclaiming Financial and Political Freedom. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman.

SOURCE

Carly Fiorina: 30,000 HP LAYOFFS

30k

Behind Carly Fiorina’s 30,000 HP layoffs

It’s hard to run for president when your name is synonymous with massive layoffs.

The No. 1 criticism lofted at Carly Fiorina is that she oversaw the disastrous 2002 Compaq merger, leading to some 30,000 layoffs at Hewlett-Packard during her tenure as CEO. 
Fiorina has tried to spin the layoffs, saying they were the result of bad timing that coincided with the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000. 
She has also noted — correctly — that despite bruising layoffs, she hired more people than she fired. HP and Compaq had a combined 148,100 employees just before she was hired in 1999, and 150,000 by the time she was fired in 2005. 
Still, along the way, the cuts were painful. 

2000: Voluntary Buyouts

Fiorina was named CEO in July 1999 and eight months later, in March 2000, HP offered 2,500 employees a voluntary buyout package. 1,300 employees accepted the offer. 

2001: Furloughs and Job Cuts

In 2001, Fiorina asked employees to volunteer to take furloughs, hoping that the unpaid time off would stave off further job cuts. HP said the 80,000 who volunteered to take the furloughs saved the company $130 million. But many of those people ended up getting laid off anyway. 
Later in 2001, HP laid off 7,500 employees. The tech bubble had burst sending many countries into a recession. People weren’t buying as many computers, and HP needed to cut costs to save money. 

2002 and 2003: More furloughs and job cuts

In 2002, HP asked employees to once again take furloughs over the Christmas break. HP was hardly alone: Dell and Gateway (remember Gateway?) also furloughed their employees. Unlike its competitors, HP allowed its employees to use accrued vacation time. 
But HP remained the biggest job-cutter. The company also laid off 8,600 more employees in 2002. 
In 2003, HP laid off another 9,000 employees. 
In all, the terminations cost HP 26,400 jobs. And that doesn’t include that five months after Fiorina left in February 2005, HP announced another 15,200 job cuts. 
For sure, HP was not alone in cutting jobs during the dot-com bust. Many tech companies went out of business. 
And the job cuts did help HP save money through a particularly difficult time in the tech industry. Of the $3 billion a year HP said the merger helped save in “cost synergies,” $2 billion of the annual savings were attributed to layoffs and plant shutdowns. 
But Fiorina made a huge gamble in acquiring Compaq — and it didn’t work, sending HP into a tailspin it is still trying to climb out of. 
HP has announced more than 100,000 job cuts since Fiorina left. And current CEO Meg Whitman is now spinning off the PC unit that Fiorina created with the Compaq merger. 
When Fiorina was fired, she took home a $21.4 million severance package, which included $50,000 for career counseling. (Shareholders later sued, saying she got too big of a golden parachute)
 

CARLY FIORINA IS AN INSIDER: Advised Sen. John McCain on economics and acted as a surrogate

insider

She advised Sen. John McCain on economics and acted as a surrogate during his 2008 White House run. She is a liar and hypocrite.

John McCain’s economic adviser Carly Fiorina hidden away after gaffes 
An economic adviser to John McCain has disappeared from public view after saying that neither he nor his running mate Sarah Palin were capable of running a major corporation.
Carly Fiorina, who rose from a secretarial position to become chief executive of the technology giant Hewlett-Packard, made the gaffes in two separate interviews. 
First she was asked by a radio host – who had just praised her own business record – that since Mr McCain “thinks Mrs Palin has the experience to be president … do you think she has the experience to run a major company like Hewlett-Packard?” 
Miss Fiorina replied: “No, I don’t. That’s not what she is running for.” 
Asked later in a television interview about her remark, Ms Fiorina said: “Well, I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation.”
Miss Fiorina has since had planned television appearances cancelled. The incident comes as a blow to Mr McCain, who has seen a brief lead in opinion polls over Barack Obama fade away, the match-up returning to a tie.He has faced criticism for his lack of credentials on economic policy at a time when America is suffering from a global financial crisis.Mr McCain found himself wrong-footed by the US government’s £47bn bailout of the insurance giant AIG, and was forced to declare support for the action after opposing it only hours earlier.Mr Obama’s campaign pounced on Miss Fiorina’s comments as apparent evidence of his unsuitability to guide the US through difficult economic times.
In a statement it said: “If John McCain’s top economic adviser doesn’t think he can run a corporation, how on earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis?”

SOURCE

Carly Fiorina, THE TAKER: Received a $20 million in severance when fired from HP

taker

She received a $20 million in severance when fired from HP

Fiorina’s time at HP was marred by controversy with several business publications later naming her one of the worst-ever CEOs. The company board ousted her in 2005. By that point, the company had lost half its value, approved a controversial merger with Compaq and cut 30,000 jobs. Still, Fiorina received the complimentary golden parachute. The GOP candidate defends her time at HP by saying she was in charge during the worst ever tech recession.

SOURCE

HORRIFIC BUSINESS RECORD: DONALD TRUMP & CARLY FIORINA

trump

Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina sock it to each other over who has a better business record

GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump got into an argument with fellow business leader Carly Fiorina, a former CEO of Hewlett Packard, on the Republican presidential nomination debate stage on Wednesday night.

CNN moderator Jake Tapper cited news reports saying that Fiorina “ran HP into the ground,” is responsible for tens of thousands of layoffs during her tenure, and was eventually fired.

Fiorina responded by saying she led HP during “a very difficult time,” during which the NASDAQ stock index dropped by 80%. Despite that, Fiorina said, she doubled the size of the company, quadrupled the cash flow, and tripled HP’s “rate of innovation.”

“Yes, we had to make tough choices,” Fiorina said. “In doing so, we saved 80,000 jobs, went on to grow to 160,000 jobs — Hewlett Packard is almost at 300,000 jobs. We went from lagging behind to leading.”

Fiorina went on to say that her firing from the Hewlett Packard board was a testament to her leadership, saying that being a leader means making enemies.

“Steve Jobs knew that when he called me the day I was fired to say, ‘Hey, I’ve been there, done that, twice,'” Fiorina said.

Trump responded by citing Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who he incorrectly referred to as “the head of Yale Business School.” (He is a professor at the Yale School of Management, but is not the head of it.) Sonnefield has blasted Fiorina’s record repeatedly.

“One of the worst tenures for a CEO that he has ever seen. Ranked one of the top 20 [worst CEOs] in the history of business,” Trump said. Ranked as a disaster, and continues to be a disaster. They still haven’t recovered. In fact, today, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, they fired another 20 or 30,000 people saying ‘we still haven’t recovered.”

Trump said that HP’s increase in revenue during Fiorina’s tenure was because HP bought Compaq, which was “a terrible deal.”

“I only say this: She can’t run any of my own companies,” Trump said. “That I can tell you.”

Fiorina said Sonnenfeld is “a well-known Clintonite” (referring to a supporter of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton) who’s criticized her since she started at HP. She then switched tack to criticize Trump’s own business record. In particular, when he filed bankruptcies for his casinos in Atlantic City.

“Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy not once, not twice, but a record four times,” Fiorina said. “Four times! A record four times. Why should we trust you to man the finances of this nation?”

In response, Trump said he’s made over $10 billion, and blamed the bankruptcy of his casinos — as well as the others in Atlantic City — on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who was also on the debate stage.

DONALD TRUMP: FOUR BIG BANKRUPTCIES

What Trump didn’t say about his four big business bankruptcies

When Republican front-
runner Donald J. Trump was pressed Thursday about his companies’ four bankruptcies in 18 years, the blustering business mogul called them routine corporate deals allowed by law and repeated by “many, many others on top of the business world.”
Yet missing from Trump’s retelling is that all four bankruptcies were high-profile embarrassments for his name-brand American empire. Amid some of the proceedings, the mogul poured in millions of dollars from his personal fortune to keep the restructurings alive.
To secure better deals or more time to pay off debts, Trump forfeited lucrative ownership stakes and allowed bankers, lawyers and bondholders to feast on his empire. In one deal involving hundreds of millions of dollars in debts he had personally guaranteed, he agreed to sell his airline and mega-yacht, and he allowed bankers to stipulate how much he could spend every month.
Trump has said his business acumen could help right a country “that’s essentially bankrupt,” and he has pointed to successful business leaders with histories in corporate-bankruptcy court, such as Carl Icahn and Leon Black, to back his point that the filings are a cost of doing business.
“We’ll have the company. We’ll throw it into a chapter. We’ll negotiate with the banks. We’ll make a fantastic deal,” Trump told ABC in 2011. “You know, it’s like on ‘The Apprentice.’ It’s not personal. It’s just business.”
The 69-year-old real estate tycoon has never filed for personal bankruptcy and has for years portrayed the Chapter 11 bankruptcies of his glittering hotels and casinos as calculated, even shrewd maneuvers, and facts of life in the high-stakes worlds of mega-development and commercial finance.
The Trump-tied bankruptcies have all been filed under Chapter 11, a provision allowing troubled companies to stay in business while restructuring their business model or reducing their debts. In the business world, those filings are far more common, and far less disastrous, than Chapter 7 bankruptcies, in which companies are liquidated to satisfy debts.
There are also many posh developments bearing the Trump name — including Trump Tower in Manhattan, sprawling condominiums in Istanbul and an upcoming luxury hotel near the White House — that have not headed to bankruptcy court. “Hundreds and hundreds of deals,” he said at the debate, and “four times I’ve taken advantage of the laws. And, frankly, so has everybody else in my position.”
But Trump was exaggerating, experts said, when he said that virtually every business leader has filed bankruptcy. An estimated 5 percent of the 500 biggest U.S. companies have filed for bankruptcy in the past two decades, Georgetown law professor Adam Levitin said.
A Chapter 11 filing, said Henry Sommer, editor in chief of the legal treatise Collier on Bankruptcy, can be a legitimate, respectable business response to corporate woes such as an industry shift or other nasty surprise — though, he added, it can also stem “from deals that were poorly put together to begin with.”
Some of the debt Trump’s businesses took on was through bonds sold to the public, meaning bondholders who trusted and invested in the Trump name were left holding the bag. But the self-styled master businessman did not deal directly with small investors and said during the debate that the banks, hedge funds and financiers who have backed his projects “are not the nice, sweet little people that you think.”
“Lenders are grown-ups. They’re consenting adults. There are almost no ma-and-pa bond holders anymore,” Levitin said. “He’s dealing with mega-banks and hedge funds. . . . These are guys that can take care of themselves. Donald Trump might be the biggest fish on the Republican debate stage, but he’s far from the biggest fish in the lending world.”
The first Trump-tied bankruptcy, in 1991, was of Trump’s biggest Atlantic City casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, whose $1 billion construction was financed by junk bonds at a staggeringly high interest rate of 14 percent. Its glitzy unveiling fell flat amid slumps in Atlantic City and the broader U.S. economy, leaving the Trump firm more than $3 billion in debt.
Rather than the “fantastic deal” that Trump has celebrated, financial experts say the filing, and Trump’s guarantee of the debt, marked the moment when his personal fortunes were most in jeopardy.
Around that time, Trump later told The Washington Post, he passed a beggar in New York and told his now ex-wife, model Marla Maples, “You see that man? Right now he’s worth $900 million more than me.”
For a lower interest rate and more time to make loan payments at the Taj Mahal, Trump struck a deal with his lenders, giving up half his ownership and equity in the casino that bore his name. He also agreed to a bank-set limit on his personal spending and sold his airline, the Trump Shuttle, and his 282-foot yacht, the Trump Princess, which he had bought a few years earlier from the Sultan of Brunei.
Alan Garten, Trump’s general counsel, said it was not fair to compare those losses, in which he had pledged his personal assets in support of the loans, to a personal bankruptcy. He also reiterated Trump’s thoughts on the ubiquity of corporate collapse: “There’s no question that many companies file for bankruptcy, and it happens all the time . . . to companies of all shapes and sizes, many of which are backed by wealthy, successful people.”
In 1992, one year after the humbling developments of Trump’s first business bankruptcy, the mogul was back in court with another Atlantic City mega-property, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, crushed beneath $550 million in debt.
For easier repayment terms for those debts, Trump agreed to give up his 49 percent stake to a half-dozen lenders, including Citibank. Trump stayed on as chief executive, though the role was symbolic and declawed: He did not have a role in day-to-day decision-making, and he did not earn a salary.
In 2004, Trump faced his third corporate bankruptcy, when his Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts — which controlled the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza and Trump Marina (formerly Trump’s Castle) casinos in Atlantic City, as well as a riverboat casino in Indiana — was buried underneath $1.8 billion in debt.
To help secure lower interest rates and a $500 million credit line, Trump agreed to shrink his stake in the company from 47 percent to about 27 percent.
Trump brushed off the bankruptcy as “really just a technical thing” that touched only a small fraction of his net worth, telling the Associated Press then, “I don’t think it’s a failure, it’s a success.” But Trump also pumped $72 million of his personal fortune to help keep the restructuring afloat.
In 2009, Trump Entertainment Resorts, formed in the aftermath of the Trump empire’s bankruptcies, itself declared bankruptcy after missing a $53 million bond interest payment. The company, which ran the Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal, was forced into court, scattering investors and sending its $4 share price plunging to about 25 cents.
After a messy, months-long sparring with the company’s board of directors on how to reshape the company and repay the debt, Trump resigned as chairman and left with a reduced corporate stake of about 10 percent, which allowed the company to use his name in licensing.
“I don’t like the ‘b’ word,” Trump said on the witness stand of a New Jersey bankruptcy courtroom in 2010.
Trump has often celebrated his foresight for pulling out of his Taj Mahal casino on the New Jersey coast, saying during the debate: “I had the good sense to leave Atlantic City. I left Atlantic City before it totally cratered. And I made a lot of money in Atlantic City, and I’m very proud of it.”
Some of Trump’s glitziest real estate developments were unveiled amid national economic downturns, during which many business leaders suffered from bad investments, and his Atlantic City deals came at a particularly grave time for the coastal mecca. “Every company virtually in Atlantic City went bankrupt,” he said Thursday night.
But Trump’s multiple spells in bankruptcy court, and the little effect they have played on his abundant wealth, highlights the stiff gap between how businesses and consumers are treated amid financial strife. The Trump businesses, as with many companies, were afforded significant leeway in the hope they could recoup those massive debts.
“Bankruptcy certainly is a scarlet B on the consumer side, but it is acceptable in business,” said Dan LeBert, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. “It’s a lot different when businesses go through these proceedings than when someone is fighting to keep their home.”
He bought Trump National Golf Course in Los Angeles in 2002, after the previous operators filed for bankruptcy following a landslide that sent the 18th hole sliding in to the Pacific Ocean. Trump National Doral Golf Course in Florida was purchased out of bankruptcy in 2012.

SOURCE

SCOTT BROWN: ADIOS. CIAO. BYE. ADIOS. BYE. CIAO. He can now return to the one thing he is really good at…

Scott Walker drops out of 2016 presidential race

Scott Walker is dropping out of the Republican presidential race, multiple sources confirm to CNN.
The Wisconsin governor entered the primary in July as a front-runner in Iowa and a darling of both the conservative base and powerful donors after winning battles against public unions in his left-leaning home state. But that promising start was quickly dashed after poor debate performances dried up support from donors.
Walker has called a 6 p.m. ET news conference in Madison, Wisconsin, where he is expected to announce his decision to withdraw from the race.
The governor called some of his top supporters earlier Monday afternoon informing them of his decision, according to one Walker insider. This person said Walker’s recent plummet in the polls was a big factor in his decision-making.
He sounded “upbeat,” they said, and his message to supporters was, “I did the best I could.”
Walker made “the Pawlenty decision,” one strategist said, referring to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s 2011 decision to drop out before piling up considerable debt.
This decision came as no surprise to people working in Madison, one of whom described the last several weeks as “agony.”
Moving forward, Walker said the best use of his and the party’s time would be to dedicate all resources to the eventual nominee.
Walker’s exit comes 10 days after former Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the first Republican to drop out of the 2016 race. It indicates the start of a winnowing process of a field that once numbered 17 candidates — many of whom have struggled to gain oxygen in a summer in which headlines and polls have been dominated by Donald Trump. With Walker’s departure, the field stands at 15 candidates.

Carly Fiorina SCANDAL: Illegally sold millions in HP products to Iran

REAL SCANDAL!

Will Hewlett-Packard’s past ties to Iran haunt Carly Fiorina?
When it comes to Iran, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has cast herself as a tough-on-Tehran hawk. But as the Republican presidential candidate gains momentum, questions over the technology company’s past dealings with the Middle Eastern country – when Fiorina was at the helm – could come back to haunt her.
Despite a trade ban with Iran, HP reportedly used a Dubai-based subsidiary beginning in 1997 to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of products to the country. In fact, by 2007, HP printers made up 41% of the total market share in Iran. The story was first reported by the Boston Globe in 2008 and became a thorn in Fiorina’s side when she challenged Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California in 2010.
Boxer brought up the issue to msnbc on Wednesday night just before the debate. “What’s incredible is when she was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, they were actually selling printers to Iran and there was an executive order that said no. And the [Securities and Exchange Commission] caught them. So she’s got so many problems. I say if the Republicans choose her, we’ll walk into the presidency.”
Team Fiorina did not return requests for comment. But during the 2010 Senate race, her spokesperson said that “to her knowledge, during her tenure HP never did business in Iran and fully complied with all U.S. sanctions and laws.”
Still, HP’s previous actions stand in stark contrast to Fiorina’s current hardline rhetoric against Iran on the campaign trail. During Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, for example, Fiorina declared that on her first day in office she’ll call the country’s religious leader, Ali Khamenei, to tell him the country must open its nuclear facilities to U.S. inspectors or else America “will make it as difficult as possible for Iran to move money around, so that every ally and adversary knows the U.S is back in the leadership business.”
In July, she told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “And while [Khamenei] may not take the phone call, he will get the message. And the message is I don’t care what the deal is. New deal.”
In general, Fiorina has had to defend her controversial record as CEO of HP from 1999 to 2005, with the company cutting tens of thousands of jobs during her tenure and the Republican eventually getting fired in 2005.
Fiorina—who sparred with Trump over who had the worst business record—acknowledged during the debate, “Yes, we had to make tough choices. In doing so, we saved 80,000 jobs, went on to grow 160,000 jobs … We went from lagging behind to leading.” She also pointed out that she has since landed the endorsement of an ex-HP board member who said the company was wrong to fire her.
The candidate—who did well enough at last month’s undercard debate to make the main stage on Wednesday night in California, where she also stood out among the crowded field—was asked on NBC’s “Today” on Thursday morning how she can assure Americans she’s a winner despite getting fired from HP.
“Well, you know, when you lead you challenge the status quo, which is what the American people want now,” Fiorina said. “And you make enemies when you challenge the status quo, and I made some.”

SOURCE