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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Last night, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann vowed to soldier on in her bid for the Republican presidential nomination. This morning, she decided to suspend her campaign.
"Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside," she told supporters and reporters in West Des Moines this morning.
According to campaign spokesman Alice Stewart, Bachmann took last night to pray and consider how she might best move forward.
"She saw that [Iowa voters] coalesced around other candidates, and she just, she didn't have it in her heart to continue," Stewart told reporters this morning.
Stewart also said that campaign finance was not a factor in the decision.
"Money was not an issue at all. As you saw, we had a full schedule in South Carolina. We were planning to move full speed ahead and also go to the debates in New Hampshire and events after that," she said.
In announcing her campaign's suspension, Bachmann struck a cautionary tone about what she considers to be the Obama administration's destructive policies, which she will continue to fight.
"I ran because I realized 2012 is our last chance and our only chance to repeal 'Obamacare' and Dodd-Frank, and I knew how to get rid of both of them," she said.
For Bachmann's supporters, the announcement was clearly a letdown. One man's eyes welled up as Bachmann announced her decision to step aside.
"I mean, I understand it's part of the process--kind of narrowing the field, that's why we have the caucuses," says Acacia Scott, a junior at the University of Northern Iowa who's from Norwalk, Iowa, and says she backed Bachmann for the last month and a half. "But I supported her for a reason."
Now those supporters must decide whom to back next. For Scott, it won't be easy.
"Ultimately, yes, I'd love to get behind another presidential candidate and get Obama out of office," she says, but adds that she has only had eyes for Bachmann during the race.
"As of right now, no, I don't have my eye on another candidate," Scott explained.
Ryan Rose, the Tea Party Coalition chair for the Bachmann campaign, is similarly undecided about whom else in the race he could support.
"I honestly have no clue. I think I will be reassessing and try to push the same principles I believe she has advanced," said Rose.
Campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart told reporters this morning that Bachmann is still undecided as to which other candidate she will endorse in the race for the Republican nomination.
Still, Bachmann "doesn't see where she made any mistakes" and is proud of her campaign, according to Stewart, who added, "She has certainly no room whatsoever for regret."
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