Iowa: Romney Wins By 8 Votes [VIDEO]
Mitt Romney admits his eight-vote Iowa caucus victory was “pretty narrow” but says he’s got more staying power than runners-up Rick Santorum and Ron Paul or his other rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.
Heading off to New Hampshire, where Romney holds a healthy lead in the polls, the former Massachusetts governor predicts a long road to the nomination. Romney says his national campaign team and strong fundraising will set him apart from the pack.
He told CBS’ “Early Show” on Wednesday that he will take his campaign all the way to the Republican convention in Tampa and predicts others are going to find that hard to do. One candidate — Rick Perry — is already stepping back to decide whether to stay in the race after a fifth-place finish.
AP reports that Senator John McCain will endorse Romney today.
Bachmann PULLS OUT OF RACE
Michele Bachmann is quitting the Republican presidential campaign, saying she’s “decided to stand aside” in the wake of her sixth place finish in the Iowa precinct caucuses.
Speaking deliberatively at a news conference in Des Moines, Bachmann said she had “no regrets” whatsoever and said she ran her race with integrity and will continue to fight for the causes she emphasized on the campaign trail.
It has been a long, deep slide for the Minnesota congresswoman, who enjoyed a high point in her campaign when she won a Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa several months ago.
In her statement, Bachmann referred repeatedly to “Obamacare” and said the Republican Party must not miss a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to repeal both the sweeping health care law under
Obama’s watch and the financial regulation law known as Dodd-Frank.
Santorum Declares ‘Game On’
With the words “Game on,” Republican presidential hopeful Santorum thanked God and his supporters as he vowed to press ahead with the same conservative themes that have made him popular with Iowa voters.
The former Pennsylvania senator finished in second place, just eight votes behind Mitt Romney.
The GOP campaign makes the turn to primaries in New Hampshire on Jan. 10, then to South Carolina and Florida before the end of January.
Perry Returning To Texas To Consider Next Step
The Iowa caucuses may have claimed a political casualty. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who finished fifth, says he’s returning to Texas for “prayer and reflection” and will determine “whether there is a path forward” for his White House bid.
In an emotional address to supporters in West Des Moines, Perry thanked his backers but says he needs to think about whether there is a strategy for restarting his campaign in South Carolina.
Earlier, his advisers tried to suggest that the first primary in the South would allow Perry to regain ground.
Perry generated a lot of buzz when he jumped into the race in August, but immediately started to nosedive. Campaign events in South Carolina, where Perry launched his bid, have been put on hold.
Ron Paul: Iowa showing good enough to keep him in race
Texas Congressman Ron Paul says he’s happy with his “good showing” in Iowa, where he finished third in the Republican presidential caucuses.
The Republican with a libertarian bent tells NBC’s “Today” show he felt it was a sound performance, and “it’s doing very well to be in the money” and getting an opportunity to go into New Hampshire.
Paul seeks to distinguish his brand of conservatism with “neo-conservatism,” saying he doesn’t understand why “some conservatives think that the more money you spend overseas, the more conservative you are.”
Paul has been speaking sharply about reducing the American profile in the world, saying it needs to be less interventionist. He says he can be a significant factor in this year’s election campaign because his candidacy has attracted many young voters.
Gingrich says GOP campaign is not a game
Newt Gingrich, who finished a distant fourth in the Iowa caucuses, says the GOP presidential campaign is not like running for senior class president and isn’t a game.
Gingrich arrived in New Hampshire Wednesday morning to begin campaigning for that state’s primary on Jan. 10. Rival Mitt Romney is favored to win there.
He told a packed town hall event at a Holiday Inn in Concord that “this is not a campaign for senior class president where it’s all a game.” Gingrich said: “We are trying to decide as a nation who we are and where we’re going.”
The former House speaker, who once led the GOP field, is trying to recharge his White House bid after his disappointing showing in Iowa.