Former Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty drops out of presidential race

August 15th, 2011 - 11:45 pm ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Sunday became the first major candidate to withdraw from the presidential race after a disappointing result at the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.

Pawlenty made the announcement on ABC News during a live interview, saying not only support but also money was an issue to keep the campaign continuing. “It was disappointing but let me first say, this has been an incredible process. It’s been a great honor for Mary and me and our team to convey the message of trying to get this country back on track, and I think it is off track,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty, a Republican who served two terms in a so-called blue (Democratic) state, said his campaign aimed at getting government spending under control and doing health care reform ‘the right way’. “But obviously that message didn’t get the kind of traction or lift that we needed and hoped for coming into and out of the Ames Straw Poll. We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward,” Pawlenty said.

The former governor explained that did not happen as he hoped for. “That didn’t happen, so I’m announcing this morning on your show that I’m going to be ending my campaign for president,” Pawlenty said on ABC News, adding that he was very grateful for the support he received.

Pawlenty finished third with 2,293 votes during the poll in Iowa on Saturday, following Ron Paul’s 4,671 votes and Michelle Bachmann’s 4,823. He had initially pledged to continue his campaign on Saturday evening, writing on his Twitter account: “Our campaign needed to show progress and we did. I’m eager for the campaign ahead.”

“I congratulate Congresswoman Bachmann on her victory and for that matter Congressman Ron Paul’s close second,” Pawlenty added, saying he would likely endorse a candidate at some point during the presidential race. He said he did not yet know what he would do next.

The U.S. presidential election is scheduled to be held on November 6, 2012. Incumbent President Barack Obama is running for re-election.

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