Before Mitt Romney’s 8-vote victory in the Iowa Caucuses was announced last night, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann disappointingly, but unsurprisingly, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, with only former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman trailing. In their concession speeches, Perry announced he’d be returning to Texas to “reassess” his campaign, which many pundits and supporters alike took to mean a withdrawal from the 2012 Republican presidential race was coming. Bachmann, on the other hand, assured supporters that her campaign would be continuing forward.
This morning, both candidates seemed to have a change of heart with Bachmann suspending her campaign and Perry tweeting, “Here we come South Carolina!!!” At a press conference this morning, Bachmann said, “Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, so I have decided to stand aside.” She added, “I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles and we can leave this race knowing we ran it with the utmost integrity.”
While Bachmann didn’t specify whether she’d be running for re-election in her Congressional seat, she did indicate that even though she was no longer in the running for the presidency, she doesn’t intend on letting up on the fight to defeat Barack Obama in 2012.
Perry’s announcement, on the other hand, even came at the surprise of some of his staff, according to Politico. Though I doubt that Rick Perry’s campaign can gain any traction from this point forward, his status as the only conservative remaining in the race would leave his supporters in a rather dismal place were he to step aside this early. “I hope, for his supporters’ sake, that Perry doesn’t pack it in,” blogger Jimmie Bise tweeted, even calling a withdrawal by Perry a “punk move.”
New Hampshire’s primary will take place on January 10, 2012. South Carolina’s will take place on January 21, 2012.