Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for the presidency on Sunday after a distant third place showing in the Iowa Straw Poll.
Pawlenty announced his decision Sunday morning on ABC's “This Week,” saying, “I wish it would've been different, but obviously the pathway forward for me doesn't really exist, so we're gonna end the campaign.”
When asked what it meant for him personally to have to end the campaign, Pawlenty said, “I don't get my identity, or my sense of worth, or my values, or my faith from politics. I first get it from my personal faith in God, and I believe in this country, I love this country, I believe I can make a contribution to it, I thought I would've made a great president, but obviously that pathway for now is not there.”
Pawlenty received only about half as many votes as Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas).
Bachmann had 4,823 votes, Paul had 4,671 votes, and Pawlenty had 2,293 votes.
Pawlenty has spent much of his time and campaign money on the Iowa Straw Poll in the hopes that it would bring more attention to his campaign, and help him win the Iowa caucus – the first caucus in the nation. “If we didn't do well in Ames we weren't going to have the fuel to keep the car going down the road,” Pawlenty said.
With hopes of winning the Iowa caucus now dashed, Pawlenty's path to the nomination was less certain. After Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy in South Carolina on Saturday, Pawlenty would have had difficulty winning any of the three early contests. Bachmann has shown strength in Iowa, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is leading in the polls in New Hampshire, and Perry will likely perform well in South Carolina.
When asked why Pawlenty did not do better in Iowa, ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd said, “This is a Republican electorate that's very hot and they do not want cool candidates. This is an electorate that really wants passion and yesterday, passion trumps organization. Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann had the passion, the other candidates had organization, they didn't win.”
Pawlenty also said he would not consider being vice-president for another candidate. Regarding what he would do next, Pawlenty said, “I'm going to take my daughter to college over the next few days and I don't really know what the future holds for me. I've absolutely no plans which is at the same time very liberating but also very concerning, so I gotta get to work.”