Pawlenty drops out of presidential race

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) dropped his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination following a disappointing finish at the Ames straw poll.

Pawlenty became the first Republican candidate to exit the presidential campaign. He finished a distant third at the straw poll yesterday in Iowa, despite pouring most of his remaining campaign resources into securing a good performance there.

{mosads}The former Minnesota governor made his announcement on ABC’s “This Week,” and told supporters about his decision in a conference call beforehand.

“Obviously that message didn’t get the kind of traction or lift it needed
coming out of the Ames straw poll. We needed to get some lift to
continue on and have a pathway forward,” he said. “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 was one of the most heralded candidates in the campaign; he had been working to assemble his campaign for years now, attracting top names in politics to help assist his White House bid.

But Pawlenty failed to catch fire as a candidate, the victim of running a fairly conventional presidential campaign in an unconventional political environment. He drew about 14 percent of the votes at the Iowa straw poll, a disappointing finish behind Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

“I wish it would have been different, but obviously, the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist, so I’m going to be ending my campaign,” Pawlenty explained. 

Pawlenty said he wouldn’t be interested in joining the eventual Republican nominee’s ticket as their vice presidential pick. He said he would ultimately probably endorse a candidate, but not now.

Last updated at 10:03 a.m.

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