Bachmann refuses to end campaign as she bottoms out in Iowa

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann came in sixth place in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses Tuesday night, which was effectively a last-place finish as former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman chose not to compete in Iowa.

Her poor showing comes as several major figures have recommended she end her campaign for the White House. Speaking on behalf of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on Tuesday night just before the caucuses, evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats suggested she drop out of the race.

“We really need a candidate to get momentum and one or two to drop out,” Vander Plaats said, according to the Waterloo Daily Courier’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses.

Vander Plaats apparently suggested that Bachmann’s poll numbers are so low that she should step aside.

Bachmann’s former campaign manager Ed Rollins also recommended that she drop out and endorse a fellow Republican so she can avoid falling into debt.

“I feel badly for Michele and her team because she has worked very, very hard,” Rollins said in a televised interview Tuesday. “Unfortunately she may have peaked too soon and at the end of the day she didn’t pass the muster that you need to be looked as a credible candidate. I think if she goes on she will go into debt.”

Rollins added that he thinks Bachmann’s prospects of victory look even bleaker post-Iowa.

“I think to a certain extent, there is no way — she has no organization in New Hampshire,” Rollins said. “South Carolina is toughest politics that we play. And you’re going to have Perry and Gingrich and others fight. She would be better to endorse somebody today. She won’t take my counsel but at the end of the day, don’t go in debt.”

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin also said Bachmann should drop out of the hunt for the Republican nomination.

“I personally can’t see how it’s going to do a whole lot of good in many more response along the way,” Palin said. “Maybe not New Hampshire — quit by then — maybe not South Carolina or Florida, but down the road, unless, you know, something really turns around for her I don’t see a way to progress her candidacy to become the top-tier candidate.”

“I’m not saying that to disparage her personally so people can quit the shots already that I’ve taken just because I’ve voice had my opinion,” Palin added. “She’s got good things to offer. She’s done a great job. I am proud of her and I think she’s going to be back in the House of Representatives and we’re going be thankful for her being there.”

In her speech to supporters after her loss in Iowa on Tuesday evening, Bachmann said she plans to forge on with her candidacy.

“There are many more chapters to be written on the path to our party’s nomination,” Bachmann said. “I believe that I am that true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012.”

“What we need is a fearless conservative, one with no compromises on their record on spending on health care on crony capitalism on defending America on standing with our ally Israel,” she added.

Bachmann’s current campaign manager, Keith Nahigian, had said in an interview with the Associated Press that “I don’t know yet” when asked if Bachmann would continue her bid for the White House. “It’s hard to tell, but everything is planned,” Nahigian reportedly said just before Bachmann’s post-caucuses speech.

Follow Matthew on Twitter