U.S. Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann on Wednesday announced the end of her bid for the White House after coming in a distant sixth in Iowa caucuses.
"Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice and so I have decided to stand aside," the Minnesotan congresswoman said at a news conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
Bachmann won only five percent of the Republican vote in Iowa, the first state-wide party nominating contest, which ended in a virtual tie between former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and dark horse Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania.
Bachmann said she had "no regrets" whatsoever and that she would continue to fight for the causes she emphasized on the campaign trail.
The Tea Party favorite entered the race with strong momentum, winning the top spot in the Ames Straw poll in August. She was considered the most conservative candidate in the field and has been a consistent critic of President Barack Obama, blasting relentlessly on his healthcare insurance and financial regulation reforms.
Bachmann's momentum proved to be short-lived. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who jumped into the race late in August, soon took over the spotlight from her.
Iowa's result was also disappointing for Perry, who finished fifth with 10 percent of the vote. He said he would return to his home state to "reassess" his campaign.
William Galston, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Xinhua that Backmann's quit, possibly followed by Perry, will benefit Santorum most, as the three have been competing for almost the same category of Republican voters -- evangelicals, social conservatives, and blue-collars.