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

Comments

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  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 179.

    There are alot of comments on here berating Mrs. Bachmann's religious views. Not to say I agree or disagree with her views, but the US Constitution guarantees her and every US Citizen the right to Freedom of Religion. She was keen on exercising this right and the voters in Iowa obviously didn't agree enough to have voted for her. Another tick in the V column for the Constitution.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 178.

    @174. It's Rick Santorum's politics that have led to the word "santorum" having a particular meaning. I think this word will outlive his political career.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 177.

    Thumbs up if you'd like to BITE Sarah Palin . .

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 176.

    @147.Pro_legomena,
    Thanks. I respect your opinion but having viewed the way the media has treated Ms. Bachmann &other conservative women, I beg to differ.
    You are correct that conservative candidates draw more ire, but the type of remarks directed at conservative women are obviously misogynist & some can't be printed here.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 175.

    Hallelujah! One down, five more to go. Why is it that Republicans are so against universal health care? I live in Canada and there's no way that Canadians would even consider a private health care system. The United States is very backwards in many ways, and it is because of conservative ideals shared by people like Michelle Bachman. Bachman would have been a Thatcher to US politics. Scary.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 174.

    All we need now is for Rick 'Insanitorium' to drop out. The guy is partly responsible for getting 'intelligent design' into American schools and has proposed laws against adultery, sodomy and other 'antithetical actions'. I fear for the world should this fool get the presidency.

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 173.

    You're right. We really should have a national health plan like you do in the UK and most leading countries of the world. The new health plan for the US is very complicated and twisted due to the lobbies here and the opposition of the Republicans. If someone were to propose a plan like those in the rest of the civilized world, he would be fought tooth and nail as a socialist and communist.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 172.

    159. MMsansi
    "But one thing I love about american politics is that people aren't afraid to express what they feel."
    -----
    Do you include moderate Republicans in that?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 171.

    151:
    although not a Bachmann fan in any form myself it is still ridiculous to give her such comparisons. For a start, none of your examples are actual politicians, and secondly her ideals are based upon weakened government power, yet still following a fundamental constitution with heavy emphasis on freedom of speech, whereas 2 of your examples are involved in autocratic regimes...

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 170.

    Well this leaves me gobsmacked..... Moderators have removed my comment because I denied the existence of god!!!!!
    Anyone else shocked by this?? Show them how you feel by +ing this.
    Unbelievable.....

  • Comment number 169.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 168.

    Know the US has a different voting system than UK. It does seem OK though that the people from the opposition chose someone to challenge the President, rather than like Labour choosing Ed Milliband, who is useless against Cameron. Bottom line on democracy is, sadly the richest families run the Countries. US, India, Thailand, Philippines, Shrianka, etc.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 167.

    Whoever gets elected as the next president of the US should make a Mexican vice president . .

    No chance of getting assassinated !

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 166.

    Disappointed that whacko Bachmann didn't last the course as I was looking forwards to more laughs.
    According to records doesn't the winner come from the next two or three primaries rendering the rest of the process redundant ?

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 165.

    The Republicans once believed in equality and fairness.

    Now all they want is to give more money to the super rich.

    They have totally lost the plot.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 164.

    So, Mormo received a dig in the ribs from God? If a $1m Santorum can almost tie with $32m Romney in Iowa, and ends up getting the Republican nomination, it will show that the Presidency cannot be bought with money (almost an anagram, Miit!), and it only remains to be seen who has the best lawyer.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 163.

    Where else could 122,000 be considered the voice for 300 million. Iowa has no idea what the rest of the country thinks,needs or wants. It's an embarrassment that this is the best field the Republican Party could put forth.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 162.

    I deplore US politics. Its usually the same old bunch (eg Gingrich) and the same stupid speeches/rhetoric. The populace never learns but waves flags and pins their hopes on promises expecting change. Once in office, its back to business as usual. 2 years later, in a 4 yr. term, the Pres. thinks of re-election/campaigning and on it goes.

    Stupidity personified.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 161.

    Awww, BBC you removed both (and probably my last) comments. You make me sad.

    Are you shills for the NWO lizard people who use mind control through chemtrails?

    Reinstate IMMEDIATELY or I'm telling Alex Jones! Then you'll be sorry!

    LOL!

    Someone's not having a good mid-week! (sad smiley)

    Toodles!

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 160.

    RE 140

    You are right about nobody caring about Michelle Bachman.

    You are wrong about her coming from oblivion.

    Here in the states she's made a name for herself by commenting on issues with out having facts or any kind of understanding of the issue. She also believes that her time working for the IRS doesn't count as working for the government.

 

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