In the first step of the U.S. presidential primary for selecting the Republican presidential nominee in this year’s election, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won the Iowa Caucus with 24.6 percent on Tuesday (January 3), triumphing just barely over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum who garnered 24.5 percent followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul in third at 21.4 percent. View Romney’s Iowa victory speech here.
Other presidential hopefuls such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (13.3 percent) and former Texas Governor Rick Perry (10.3 percent) received double-digit percentages, while Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (5 percent) and former Chinese Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jr. (0.6 percent) were in single digits.
The lack of support in Iowa was enough to convince Congresswoman Bachmann to drop out of the race. At a press conference on Wednesday, she stated:
“Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, so I have decided to stand aside. I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles and we can leave this race knowing we ran it with the utmost integrity.”
Her spokeswoman announced that she “just made up her mind about this this morning” and “she hasn’t made a decision” about her political future, which might include running for re-election in Congress. No word on whom she’ll be endorsing, if anyone, as the fight for a Republican presidential nominee continues.
In addition to winning the confidence of Iowa voters to take on President Barack Obama, Romney also received the endorsement of Sen. John McCain, whom he battled in 2008.
John McCain Endorses Mitt Romney
McCain explained, “I had the privilege of running against Governor Romney for the nomination four years ago, and I know he is a tough competitor. I have no doubt he is the best candidate we can nominate. And I am proud to support him for President.”
The candidates next face off in New Hampshire on January 10, where Romney hopes to move a step closer to securing the nomination. They will participate in a debate this Saturday at 9 p.m. on ABC and again at 9 a.m. on Sunday for a special edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, which will also be streamed live on Facebook, before voters head to the polls.