Michele Bachmann halts presidential campaign

 

Michele Bachmann: "I have no regrets"

Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann has ended her presidential campaign after finishing at the back of the field in Iowa's caucuses.

Her exit leaves six Republicans in the race to challenge Barack Obama for the White House in November.

Mitt Romney, who narrowly won in Iowa, meanwhile rolled out an endorsement from ex-Republican nominee John McCain.

Rick Perry, who came fifth, vowed to press on, but will focus on the next-but-one race in South Carolina.

Mitt Romney is a heavy favourite to win next week's primary election in the north-eastern state of New Hampshire.

Caucuses and primary elections will be held in all 50 states over the next six months before the Republican presidential nominee is confirmed at the party convention in Florida this August.

Former Massachusetts Governor Romney won Tuesday's Iowa caucuses by a wafer-thin margin over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Analysis

Conservative Republicans are still looking for a hero. If they were to come together around one anti-Mitt candidate, that person would win hands down.

But no-one has been able to capitalise on initial success in the past, and there is no reason to think Mr Santorum is any different.

There is a hunger on the right for something fresh and different. There's a mood in the country that the system is broken and doesn't work for ordinary people.

Mr Romney is almost an incarnation of the establishment, from his well-manicured rallies to his tightly organised campaign lubricated with plenty of lucre, from his past as a successful businessman to his career as a problem-solving politician.

He is not going to capture the public mood with that record, any more than he has won the heart of his party.

He squeaked to victory in the early hours of Wednesday by just eight votes, with 30,015 ballots (24.55%) against 30,007 for social conservative Mr Santorum (24.54%).

Texas congressman Ron Paul, a libertarian-leaning anti-war candidate, came a strong third.

Mrs Bachmann, who came sixth with just 5% of the vote, told a Wednesday morning news conference in Des Moines, Iowa: "I have decided to stand aside."

The 55-year-old - who had courted the evangelical Christian vote and was briefly the front-runner back in August - said she had "no regrets".

Mrs Bachmann did not endorse another candidate, but said: "I believe that we must rally around the person that our country and our party and our people select to be that standard bearer."

She spoke at length about her reasons for entering the race, denouncing President Obama's healthcare reforms as "left-wing social engineering", which "endangered the very future" of the US.

A record 122,000 straw ballots were cast by Republicans in the largely rural state.

Start Quote

Rick Santorum in Iowa

No-one will out-work him and we've yet to see whether coming second brings in a flood of money”

End Quote Prof Terry Madonna Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania

There had been speculation that Texas Governor Rick Perry might also drop out after he said he would return to his home state to reassess his campaign.

But instead of going back to Texas, he tweeted on Wednesday: "Here we come South Carolina!!!"

The Perry campaign also confirmed he would attend a Republican debate on Saturday in New Hampshire.

The first primary of the 2012 election season will be held next Tuesday in the small New England state, which is Mr Romney's political heartland.

Campaigning there on Wednesday, Mr Romney rolled out another high-profile endorsement, this time from Arizona Senator John McCain.

Appearing alongside Mr Romney, Sen McCain told a crowd "no-one will ever say that Mitt Romney will lead from behind".

Sen McCain said the businessman's private sector experience would help turn around the economy.

"Our message to President Barack Obama is: 'You can run but you can't hide from your record.'"

Mr Romney is already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV ads in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Results of the Iowa caucuses

And his well-financed political machine has snapped up television advertising space in the key swing state of Florida, which holds its primary at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who came fourth in Iowa, signalled that he would campaign more aggressively against Mr Romney, whom he has linked to a series of bruising TV attack ads.

The Gingrich campaign took out a full-page advert in the New Hampshire Union-Leader newspaper on Wednesday portraying their man as a "Bold Reagan Conservative" and Mr Romney as a "Timid Massachusetts moderate".

Appearing on US breakfast shows, Mr Romney acknowledged he was now a "big target" for attacks.

A Suffolk University opinion poll on Wednesday showed him with 43% of support in New Hampshire, while Mr Santorum was at just 6%.

 

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US Presidential Election 2012

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 119.

    It will be important for the BBC to follow this in more detail as we get closer to the actual election.

    In the meantime it is necessary to watch Euronews here in the UK to find out what is really happening,

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 118.

    One Republican candidate fewer for what has turned into a global laughing stock.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 117.

    I am puzzled. I was modded on a previous blog for saying Obama was a Daley machine player (a matter of public record with William Daley as Chief of Staff), yet much greater (unsupported) insults are allowed here. For the record I prefer Obama to any of the extremists of the Republicans but I would prefer even Bachman to the craven PC fanatics modding BBC blogs.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 116.

    lol
    one less muppet left in the race.At least this american process has the potential to whittle down the list till you find a real human being.well hopefully anyway.all the world needs now is for rick thick and dangerous perry to gracefully bow out.I like the sound of MItt and Ron.could be a couple of contenders.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 115.

    Probaly for the best for the entire globe that she has quit. As a woman who said she would "obey her husband" as written in the bible, she unfortunately qualifies as a subservient detractor of woman's rights, worldwide, and her election could well have done an entire gender a global dis-service.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 114.

    This idiot makes Sarah Palin look like Sam Tilden. A complete failure from start to finish.

  • Comment number 113.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 112.

    With Bachmann the 1st of the 'nutty as a fruitcake' candidates has withdrawn from the Republican race. From now on they will fall 1-by-1 until in the end it's only Romney (and possibly Gingrich) standing. I don't for a minute believe that Santorum will be a serious candidate for anything other than the American Christian Taliban contest. Pity the best candidate (Hunstman) is not even on the radar.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 111.

    #90 mscracker

    I think it is very dangerous to equate criticism of Ms Bachmann's policies as "misogynistic" It is both an easy label to attack anyone who criticises a public figure who happens to be female for holding what are regarded as unacceptable views and at the same time denudes the term of meaning and force.

  • rate this
    +62

    Comment number 110.

    As an American, I was heavily embarassed this woman's candidacy was ever taken as more than a joke. A fear-mongering, intellectually flailing, ignorant politician on the stage has become too common in our politics, we already have a surplus and we didn't need another. This is hardly a cathartic end to that trend, but at least her viability is now gone.

  • rate this
    -33

    Comment number 109.

    She would have made a great US President. She's a Holy Bible believing, born-again creationist Christian.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 108.

    13.Andrew Maund

    Will the Cult of Ron Paul give us a break! His followers remind me of similar fans of the Kims or Stalin, creepy!
    His policies are completely nutty, based mostly on the ravings of Ayn Rand, who I might add heavily influenced Alan Greenspan (a friend of Ayn in the 60's), whom many blame for the current financial mess we're in.
    We need more big government & higher taxes, not less!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 107.

    91.Neil

    To be fair the first time he was up against John Kerry and the second time it was the supreme court that elected him not the American people.

  • rate this
    +17

    Comment number 106.

    "I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence." - Michele Bachmann

    I fear for humanity when people such a her, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Sarah Palin can come anywhere close to power.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 105.

    Strictly speaking, Neil, the Americans didn't vote GWB in at all. His two victories were stolen in elections so corrupt and manipulated that they would not have looked out of place in west Africa or North Korea. It's a pity Bachmann has gone really as Obama could have eaten her for breakfast. The Repubs may now choose someone who has enough of a veneer of credibility to oust the incumbent.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 104.

    It seems if Americans vote Republic or Democrats they get a right wing agenda. It frankly doesn't matter who wins (but the best bet is Ron Paul). Obama was meant to change everything, but since he got in power there are more american military operations worldwide, have been more drone strikes than in Bush's full terms, is provoking Iran, and just has signed the suppressive Indefinate Detention Act

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 103.

    89.Neil Stapley "Does Ron Paul have a team of unemployed bloggers trawling the internet for news stories to complain about that he is not mentioned in them."

    I know its difficult to believe due to the news coverage you get fed, but Ron Paul has a HUGE following, mainly by the young who are quite capable of using the internet to see through the media bias and post their comments.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 102.

    @ 91.Neil

    3 Minutes ago

    @ 14.Oysterman
    "Not even the Americans are THAT stupid." ... are you sure? they voted Bush in twice!

    Erm... once! ;-)

  • rate this
    -10

    Comment number 101.

    70.Wage Against The Machine
    Hah! American politics is so damn funny. More of this comedy/tragedy please BBC!

    No BBC - much less please. HYS comment (whilst well supported here), could perhaps be available on a wider range of UK / Euro topics too?
    Sneering at American politics is just a cheap trick, and such in-depth & smug commentary of the republican state caucuses is VERY boring!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 100.

    On the one hand I can understand some coverage of this Primary process (not the actual election) given America's primacy as the worlds only* superpower, however I find it odd that the BBC focuses so much attention on the domestic politics of a foreign country. The only candidates who have much to say on foreign policy are Paul and Romney, the rest are purely focussed on US domestics.

 

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