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The road to the White House has come to an end for Michele Bachmann after her last-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Speaking to reporters, she said that “last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside.”
“I believe that if we are going to repeal Obamacare, turn our country around, and take back our country, we must do so united; and I believe that we must rally around the person that our country, and our party, and our people select to be that standard bearer,” she said. “But make no mistake: I will continue to be a strong voice. I’ll continue to stand and fight for the country and for the American people, and for our freedom,” she continued.
Bachmann went on to call the forthcoming election “the last chance to turn our country around, before we go down the road of socialism.”
The Minnesota congresswoman has long been a darling of the conservative movement and she founded the Tea Party caucus in the House of Representatives. Last summer, she announced her bid for the Republican nomination in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, and in August the voters of the state seemed to smile on her when she won the Ames Straw Poll, briefly catapulting her into the lead position in the GOP race.
Bachmann ran a family-oriented, socially-conservative campaign designed to appeal to the evangelical Christians who provide much of the GOP’s support. She opposes abortion in all instances, and has spoken out in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. She and her husband own a Christian counseling center which has been accused of advocating ‘reparative theraphy’ to ‘cure’ homosexuality, despite the fact that many leading medical groups condemn the practice. While taking a swipe at rival Rick Perry, Bachmann claimed that the HPV vaccine caused mental retardation in girls, a claim that was swiftly debunked by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Yet despite her fervent attempts to burnish her conservative credentials, the voters of Iowa ultimately dealt her a humiliating blow. She received only five percent of the votes, coming in dead last in the caucus. To add insult to injury, she also lost her hometown of Waterloo.