Bachmann drops out of presidential race


U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann

by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol reporter

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has dropped out of the 2012 presidential race.

“I have no regrets — none whatsoever,” said Bachmann, speaking from Iowa this morning.

Bachmann, who finished sixth among competing Republican presidential candidates in the Iowa caucus yesterday, said the people of her native state have spoken.

“So I decided to stand aside,” she said.

Bachmann did not indicate whether she intended to seek re-election in the 6th Congressional District, which covers a wide swath of the north suburban area including Elk River.

Nor did she endorse another Republican presidential candidate.

“I look forward to the next chapter in God’s plan,” she said.

In her highly partisan withdrawal from the race, Bachmann, reading a prepared statement, traced her entry into presidential politics as a reaction against so-called “Obamacare” and Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.

She styled President Barack Obama as pursuing a socialist agenda.

Bachmann also characterized the 2012 presidential as the last chance to erase the perceived blots on American freedom before it became too late.

Bachmann embraced her husband Marcus Bachmann after finishing her statement, thanking her family and campaign staff.

Carleton College Political Science Professor Steven Schier explained on Minnesota Public Radio today (Jan. 4) that the reason candidates ultimately drop out of races is less political setbacks than the lack of campaign funding.

“That is certainly Michele Bachmann’s situation,” he said.

Former Pawlenty chief of staff Charlie Weaver, now executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, said that people who knew Bachmann doubted she could sustain her presidential candidacy long term.

“I think we can all be proud of her efforts. It’s a bruising challenge,” he said of running for president.

Bachmann’s withdrawal from the race wipes the Republican presidential slate clean of Minnesota candidates, former governor Tim Pawlenty having dropped out of the race last August.

Weaver, for one, doesn’t second-guess Pawlenty’s decision.

He thinks Pawlenty’s blue-collar upbringing made it difficult for the former governor to continue a campaign running into debt.

Weaver has met Pawlenty at times since the governor dropped out of the race.

“I think he’s happy. He’s not a guy with regrets. He looks forward,” said Weaver.

Bachmann, meanwhile, grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, before her family moved to Anoka when Bachmann was a child.

Bachmann highlighted her Iowa ties in her campaign. She formally entered the presidential race early last summer in Waterloo.