“We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward,” Pawlenty 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.”
He also ruled out the possibility of running for vice president. “No, I’ve been down that road,” he said. “That’s not something I’m even going to consider.”
He received 2,293 votes in Ames, less than half the votes of the first-place finisher, Rep. Michele Bachmann. The Minnesota Republican won with 4,823 votes, or 28.6 percent of the total votes cast. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was close behind with 4,671 votes.
Money was the first factor that Pawlenty listed while explaining his decision. “Obviously, we had some success raising money, but we needed to continue that, and Ames was a benchmark for that,” he said. “And if we didn’t do well in Ames, we weren’t going to have the fuel to keep the car going down the road.”
He later said, “What we do know, at least for Ames and for Iowa and for me, is my record of being a two-term governor in a blue state with all the record — results that I had wasn’t sufficient to get us to the next phase.”
Pawlenty wasn’t ready to endorse another candidate Sunday, although he said he probably would eventually. “But I do believe that we’re going to have a very good candidate who’s going to beat Barack Obama,” he said.
Bachmann has the qualifications to run the White House, he said, but she will need “to make her case to the American people about whether she’s the best candidate and why she should be the Republican nominee and why she should be the next president against Barack Obama. And time will tell whether she can do that.”
Pawlenty said he doesn’t have plans for himself beyond taking his daughter to college soon. “And then I really don’t know what the future holds for me,” he said. “I have absolutely no plans, which is at the same time very liberating but also a little concerning, so I’ve got to get to work.”
Bachmann, who appeared after Pawlenty on “This Week,” was complimentary of her former competitor. “I wish him well,” she said. “I have great respect for the governor. We’ve known each other for a long, long time. And he brought a really important voice into this race. And I’m grateful that he was in. He was really a very good competitor.”
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.