Scott Walker has downshifted his initially ambitious campaign for president to focus on first-to-vote Iowa, scrambling Thursday to reassure jittery donors and supporters after a quiet performance in the second Republican debate.

Walker spoke less than anyone else during a three-hour marathon in which he was asked only two direct questions.

Walker told MSNBC that “We’re putting all our eggs in the basket of Iowa.”

He jumped out to a quick start after a breakthrough speech in Iowa in February before he was a declared candidate. He quickly built up his campaign operation based in Madison, hiring staff in Wisconsin as well as in early voting states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Some staff currently based at the Wisconsin headquarters may be shifted to Iowa, but cuts are not planned, Walker’s campaign manager Rick Wiley said.

 

22.9M viewers tuned into debate

An estimated 22.9 million people tuned in for Wednesday’s second presidential primary debate on CNN.

The Nielsen company said the viewership fell short of Fox News Channel’s 24 million for the first debate in August, but it still represented the largest audience in CNN’s 35-year history.

The first two GOP debates have set new standards for interest in these contests.

 

Clinton interview focuses on trump

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is one “tough mother,” said talk-show host Jimmy Fallon. He should know — he pulled her hair.

When she appeared Wednesday on Fallon’s “Tonight Show,” Clinton asked Fallon if he’d ever touched Republican rival Donald Trump’s hair. For years The Donald’s coiffure has been the subject of speculation and wisecracks.

“You wanna touch mine?” Clinton asked.

Fallon tugged her hair and declared, “It’s real!”

References to Trump dominated Clinton’s appearance. Clinton speculated that if Trump became president, “you could have the White House renamed the Trump House.”

In more serious matters, Clinton on Thursday warned congressional Republicans that they would be endangering the economy if they shut down the federal government in an effort to block funding for Planned Parenthood.

“I would hope that the Republicans, and particularly the Republicans in the House lead by Speaker Boehner, would not put our country and our economy in peril pursuing some kind of emotionally, politically charged partisan attack,” she said.

 

Trump quiet on claim about Obama

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declined to correct a questioner who said President Obama is Muslim.

Trump was holding a town hall event Thursday in New Hampshire. His first question came from a man who raised concerns about terrorist training camps on American soil.

The man said, “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims.” He then said Obama, who is Christian and was born in Hawaii, is a Muslim and said he’s not American.

Trump did not dispute the assertions. He said that he would be looking into the issue and other things.

news services