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After dismal Iowa showing, Bachmann suspends campaign

Chris Carlson / AP

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., joined by husband Marcus, left, family and friends, announces that she will end her campaign for president Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has suspended her campaign for the White House.

"I have decided to stand aside," she told a room of supporters and reporters in Iowa. Bachmann said she leaves the race knowing the campaign was run "with integrity." She said now, the country needs to "stand united behind the person our party chooses to be the standard bearer."

Bachmann stressed that her faith in God and the nation remain "unshakable."

After a dismal, sixth place finish in Tuesday night's caucuses, the Minnesota congresswoman canceled a campaign trip to South Carolina and scheduled Wednesday's news conference.

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Even before the official announcement, reports surfaced of her plans. The National Journal quoted a senior Republican official who said the candidate realized "there was no viable way forward." 

Bachmann, 55, had told a small group of supporters Tuesday night that she was staying in the presidential race — as the only true conservative who can defeat President Barack Obama. But her campaign was known to be low on money.

After a sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann ends her bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Watch her entire statement.

She peaked early with a first place finish in the Iowa GOP's summer straw poll, but by mid- to late September polling showed Bachmann in single digits. She focused her campaign efforts on Iowa, where she grew up.

This campaign suspension leaves her supporters up for grabs as Rick Santorum tries toestablish himself as the conservative heavyweight in the Republican race. Santorum's near-tie with caucus winner Mitt Romney topped a risefrom deep in the polls to contender for the presidentialnomination.