UPDATED, 10:30 a.m. — A prayerful Michele Bachmann ended her presidential campaign Wednesday morning, just hours after a crushing sixth-place finish in the Iowa Caucuses.
The Iowa native and Minnesota Congresswoman failed to win even one of the state’s 99 counties, earning only 5 percent of the votes Tuesday.
At a morning press conference at the , Bachmann said she will not continue her campaign but has no regrets.
"Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a clear voice; I have decided to stand aside. I believe we must rally around the party nominee," she said. "I will be forever grateful to this state and its people for launching us on this path."
She did not take questions from the media after giving her speech this morning, and did not say which of the remaining GOP contenders she would support.
The Minnesota congresswoman had hoped to repeat Mike Huckabee’s surprise performance four years ago when he gathered the support of Iowa’s influential evangelical Christians. Those voters went with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, whose 11th-hour surge placed him only 8 votes behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Bachmann placed fifth in Black Hawk County, where she lived as a child.
Bachmann’s campaign began its downward spiral shortly after in August and Rick Perry joined the race. She was hurt by a series of misstatements, including proclaiming during one debate that it was dangerous to give the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) to girls before they are sexually active to prevent cervical cancer later in life.
Later, despite constant replaying of her remarks, she denied what she had said. Despite touting her Iowa roots, Bachmann failed to gain any real support in Iowa or the other early Republican voting states.
After Bachmann’s team resigned in New Hampshire, she all but dissolved her efforts to compete there. found her running fifth in New Hampshire. The most recent polls in South Carolina showed Bachmann running third or fourth over the past month.
Bachmann's withdrawal speech focused on how the enactment of President Barack Obama's health-care program, which she labeled Obamacare, galvanized her to seek the presidential nomination.
"I ran because I realized 2012 was our last chance, our only chance, to repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank," Bachmann said. "I ran because I believed that since day one Barack Obama's policies are a threat to the foundation of the republic. I ran to secure the promise of our children’s future."
The Tea Party leader said she will continue to fight for the issues that matter to her and her supporters: energy production, to protect life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty, among others.
“I will continue fighting to defeat the president’s agenda of socialism,” she said. “A politician I never have been nor ever hope to be.”
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UPDATED, 10:08 a.m. — The National Journal is reporting that Michele Bachmann will be dropping out fo the race for the presidency, after a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Iowa Caucuses Tuesday night.
A Bachmann adviser has also told the Associated Press that the Minnesota Congresswoman will be ending her White House bid.
More on this story as it develops.
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8:57 a.m. — Rep. Michele Bachmann and her campaign for President of the United States have scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. today, .
It's not known, yet, whether Bachmann will end her campaign .
That's just months after storming her way to a victory in the Iowa Straw Poll last summer.
Though she finished sixth, she showed no signs of giving up last nightgf as she was surrounded at the podium by members of her family, including her mother and husband, children and foster children.
"Right here is the real, real deal," said Iowa State Sen. Brad Zaun as he introduced the diminutive candidate. "This is what we need in this country. This lady here, pound for pound, is the toughest person in Washington D.C."
If pundits were expecting her to suspend her campaign, she didn't reward them.
"The people of Iowa have spoken and they have written the very first chapter in this long journey to take our country back from Barack Obama, ... The people of Iowa who chose tonight. It wasn’t the pundits. It wasn’t the media."
But experts, such as Dante Scala, professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire (where the candidates travel next, for the Jan. 10 primary vote), said Bachmann's chances at the White House are all but gone.
"Gosh, you finish last among those who are competing in your own state?" he asked rhetorically. "She'll end with maybe 6,000 votes out of some 100,000 cast. If you can win only five percent in your self-avowed home state, you're done."