DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s national political operation resigned late Tuesday after drawing heated criticism from the head of the Iowa Republican Party for questioning the state’s early role in the presidential nominating process.
Veteran Republican strategist Liz Mair told The Associated Press that she was leaving Walker’s team just a day after she had been tapped to lead his online communication efforts, citing the distraction created by a series of recent Twitter posts about Iowa’s presidential caucuses.
“The tone of some of my tweets concerning Iowa was at odds with that which Gov. Walker has always encouraged in political discourse,” Mair said in a statement announcing her immediate resignation. “I wish Gov. Walker and his team all the best.”
Mair had been the latest political operative tapped to join Walker’s growing political operation as he ramps up for a 2016 presidential bid. The Republican governor has intensified travel to early states in the presidential nominating process, including Iowa, which hosts the nation’s first presidential caucuses.
In January, Mair took to Twitter to complain about an event in the state hosted by Iowa Rep. Steve King, a favorite of the GOP’s far-right flank.
“In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys,” Mair wrote and later added, “The sooner we remove Iowa’s front-running status, the better off American politics and policy will be.”
On Tuesday, Iowa GOP Jeff Kaufmann told the AP that Mair’s statements were “not only incorrect, they’re rather juvenile, they’re naive, they’re ignorant.”
Kaufmann said he wanted Mair to apologize and learn more about Iowa or “I’d send her packing.”
Walker senior aide Rick Wiley acknowledged Mair’s departure in a statement: “We accept those who have a variety of viewpoints on issue, but what we ultimately must have is absolute respect for people across the country.”