Posted at 10:02 AM on August 14, 2011
by Melanie Sommer
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty ended his campaign for president this morning, just hours after finishing a distant third place in the Iowa Straw Poll. Pawlenty had said earlier that he needed to have a very strong showing in the poll in order to give his campaign a boost, but had not explicitly said that he would need a win to keep campaigning. A lot of political pundits were expressing that sentiment.
Pawlenty said on ABC's "This Week" this morning that he thinks he would have made a great president, but "obviously that pathway isn't there."
Pawlenty said he offered voters "a rational, established, credible, strong record of results," based on his two terms as governor of a largely Democratic state. But he says voters apparently were "looking for something different."
Pawlenty had spent a great deal of time and resources courting Iowa Republicans for much of the past two years, but he was eclipsed by the other Minnesota entrant in the race, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who won the straw poll last night. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas came in a close second.(2 Comments)
Rep. Michele Bachmann is being much more gracious to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty today than she was Thursday night when the two took part in a GOP candidate's debate in Iowa. Of course, Pawlenty is now no longer her opponent. Bachmann issued this statement today:
"This morning I spoke with Governor Pawlenty to express my respect and admiration for him, and to wish him and his family well. Running for the presidency requires enormous self-sacrifice. Governor Pawlenty brought an important voice and ideas to the campaign, and he served the people of Minnesota and our country well. Our party and our country are better as a result of his service and commitment."
Bachmann is scheduled to be in Waterloo, IA today, and so is the newest GOP candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who announced yesterday he is seeking the nomination.
Meanwhile the Democratic National Committee is also weighing in on Pawlenty's withdrawl from the race.
Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said this:
"A former two-term governor of a neighboring state, a social conservative, a person who on paper should be everything Republicans should consider in a candidate for president, was run out of the race because he wasn't extreme enough. In the past 72 hours we've seen all the GOP candidates swear allegiance to the Tea Party in a debate, the national front runner refer to 'corporations as people,' the two most extreme candidates in the field - Tea Party favorites - come out on top of the Iowa Straw poll and someone once considered among the leading candidates for the nomination drop out of the race because he was not extreme or vitriolic enough for the Tea Party which now owns and operates the GOP. But, while protecting tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil while proposing to end Medicare, slash Social Security and pile additional burdens on the middle class might win plaudits with the Tea Party, it's not remotely what the American people are looking for."