Michele Bachmann drops out of race

Updated
Rep. Michele Bachmann calling it quits in West Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday.
Rep. Michele Bachmann calling it quits in West Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Rep. Michele Bachmann officially dropped her bid today for the White House.

The people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, so I decided to stand aside,” Bachmann said of her home state. “I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles.”

The conservative tea partier finished in sixth-place at the Iowa caucuses, prompting a re-evaluation of her campaign that has faced organizational and financial challenges. (And some spectacular flubs referencing a serial killer and American history.)

The Minnesota congresswoman canceled a scheduled campaign stop in South Carolina and scheduled a press conference — a sign the end was near.

An early-bloomer, her popularity peaked in this past summer with a first place finish during this summer’s Iowa straw poll.

She hasn’t endorsed a candidate yet. Bachmann encouraged Republicans to “rally around the person” who eventually gets the nom and keep up her quest for the “complete elimination of Obamacare.”
 
Rick Santorum, who only lost to Willard M. Romney by eight votes, is likely to sweep up a large chunk of the evangelical supporters left in her wake.

Watch video of her announcement after the jump.

Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Iowa and South Carolina

Michele Bachmann drops out of race

Updated