Bachmann ends her campaign, Perry stays in

US Republican Bachmann ignores talk of endorsement; Rick Santorum could attract her evangelical voter base.

US Representative Michele Bachmann 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
US Representative Michele Bachmann 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
DES MOINES - US Representative Michele Bachmann ended her campaign to become the 2012 Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday and called on supporters to rally behind the party's eventual choice. "I have decided to stand aside... I will not be continuing in this race for the presidency," Bachmann told a news conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
Bachmann said Republicans must unite behind the Republican presidential nominee to roll back Democratic President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul and "take back our country."
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Bachmann's announcement came a day after she received only 5 percent of the vote in the Iowa nominating caucuses, dealing what many saw as a fatal blow to her presidential ambitions. She ignored shouted questions from reporters on whom she would endorse.
Also Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who finished fifth in Iowa with just over 10 percent support, said that he would continue his campaign in South Carolina, which holds a nominating contest on January 21.
Just hours after announcing he was returning to Texas to reassess his bid for the White House, Perry declared his intention on continuing his bid for the nomination. "The next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State... Here we come South Carolina!", he tweeted.
Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry had been courting support from evangelical Christians. Bachmann's announcement that she is dropping out of the race could help boost Santorum, who finished second in Iowa, just eight votes away from front-runner Mitt Romney.
Santorum - a former US senator from Pennsylvania, and Ron Paul - a Texas congressman with libertarian views, garnered a large percentage of the crucial conservative vote in Iowa. The two are now the leading alternatives to front-runner Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, as the candidates prepare for the next voting contest in New Hampshire.